I’ve been hearing about Southwest Airlines’ plan to provide flights to Hawaii for over a year now. They officially began marketing flights today!
Held up by the FAA approval process and, more recently, the government shutdown, Southwest has shown incredible resolve. With the December approval of their Extended Operations manuals, there were just two major tasks left to do- simulations to test the carrier’s procedures for dealing with emergencies, and validation flights between the mainland and Hawaii with FAA inspectors on board. This week, to the delight of many travelers, the airline announced that it finally received federal approval to begin making flights to Hawaii. Yeaah!!!
Starting with Cali cities; Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, and Oakland, flights have been announced today! How many flights per day, and to which islands will they be flying to? I’m sure that information will be announced, shortly, as well.
“We have teams now finalizing our plans to offer service to Hawaii, and we’ll publicly announce our timing for inaugural flights and other services when we publish our schedule in the coming days.” Southwest officials stated earlier this week.
Less expensive flights to and from the “mainland”, is cool but what most excites ME is that the airline plans to provide inter-island flight service in the near future. Finally, Hawaiian Airlines will have some healthy competition! This should result in lower fares, making it easier for people to visit family and friends, on neighboring islands. Not to mention visitors will be able to explore more of the unique beauty and culture each of the Hawaiian Islands has to offer, without being too cost prohibitive, during their visit.
So… When are you coming to Hawaii?