Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Pack your lunch. Southwest is flying to Hawaii

Pack your lunch. Southwest is flying to Hawaii

The airline announced Wednesday that it plans to begin selling tickets to the Pacific paradise in 2018. Once approved, he said, Southwest will fly most of its routes from California to Kauai, Honolulu and the island of Hawaii.

The airline made the announcement during a company gathering in Southern California. "We're ready and excited to address a request we've heard for years", Kelly said.

Now we know where Southwest Airlines wants to take its brand-new Boeing planes: Hawaii.

Southwest intends to launch the application process for Extended Operations Authorization (ETOPS) with the Federal Aviation Administration soon.

A new reservation system that allows for more complicated itineraries and overnight trips is also enabling Southwest to add Hawaii flights. As for when service will begin, that's still up in the air as the company secures FAA approval to operate between the mainland and Hawaii. But earlier this month it became the first US carrier to take delivery of the new Boeing 737 Max, a longer range version of Boeing's workhorse single aisle jet.

But Watterson refuted the notion that Southwest won't be able to offer lower fares.

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. Southwest received nine MAX 8s on October 1 and will have 14 by the end of this year.

"We anticipate fares will drop", Watterson told the Times.

The new service will test whether Southwest, long known for short routes, can compete against larger carriers on flights that take more than five hours from the U.S.'s West Coast.

"Our seat-mile costs are below (other airlines serving Hawaii) and we will offer lower fares than now are in the marketplace".

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