Low-priced carrier Southwest to launch service to Hawaii

Low-priced carrier Southwest to launch service to Hawaii

"We're ready and excited to address a request we've heard for years".

The airline anticipates beginning flights to the Pacific islands next year.

"The launch of our ETOPS work begins the next chapter of Southwest Airlines".

Andrew Watterson, executive vice president and chief revenue officer, said the airline expects it could take the FAA one to two years to approve the carrier's application for long-term service to Hawaii.

Southwest President Tom Nealon joined the announcement via satellite from Honolulu's famed Waikiki Beach and introduced the Governor of Hawaii, the Hon.

For years now, enthusiasts, frequent fliers, and the airline industry as a whole have been speculating that Southwest Airlines would at some point commence service to Hawaii, the USA state located 2,390 miles from California. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are hard to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them.

On Wednesday, Chairman and CEO of the airline, Gary Kelly announced plans for the company to submit an application with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin service to the state next year. Southwest became the nation's largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. Watterson said Southwest has been waiting for delivery of the 737 Max 8 to deploy it on routes to Hawaii.

Airline experts said despite the increased competition between Hawaii and the mainland that fares are not expected to change much because it costs more per mile to operate Southwest's aircraft than the larger planes operated by Hawaiian Airlines and other carriers.

"Our seat-mile costs are below (other airlines serving Hawaii) and we will offer lower fares than now are in the marketplace". In 2014, the airline proudly unveiled a bold new look: Heart.

Southwest Airlines, ending years of speculation, officially announced late this afternoon that it will start selling tickets to Hawaii beginning next year and offer fares that are lower than those now in the marketplace.

Book Southwest Airlines' low fares online at Southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.

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