Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Southwest plans flights to Hawaii beginning in 2018

Southwest Airlines. PC Eric Salard Southwest Airlines. PC Eric Salard
Juana Turner | 14 October, 2017, 00:38

U.S. low-priced giant Southwest Airlines will begin sales for Hawaii flights in 2018, and will serve the popular leisure destination from California.

Southwest doesn't know the exact timing of the service, and it first needs to apply for Federal Aviation Administration authorization to operate the long-distance flight.

"Hawaii is an important place for Southwest Airlines because so many people count on us to take them everywhere they want to go reliably and affordably, " Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said in a statement.

Mike Van de Ven, Southwest chief operating officer, said the new Hawaii service "begins the next chapter of Southwest Airlines".

Tickets and services to Hawaii will begin in 2018, and more details about prices and destinations will come in the future, a spokesperson for Southwest told MONEY. The flights will utilize Southwest's newly acquired Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which the airline explains is the next generation of the 737 models.

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

"We wouldn't be so bold as to say we'll start flying in October or November or July of 2018 and not go through the FAA process", Watterson said. Southwest received nine MAX 8s on October 1 and will have 14 by the end of this year.

But Watterson refuted the notion that Southwest won't be able to offer lower fares. "One hundred and seventy-five seats in a 737-800 is a different scale of economy and we can keep costs low by higher efficiencies".

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