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Southwest says aloha to Hawaii

12 October 2017

That's right-the day is finally here that we can say we're going to add some Aloha to our world-famous Hospitality, as Southwest Airlines will soon serve the Hawaiian Islands! But Southwest, which announced plans for the service Wednesday, said it will start selling tickets for the service next year. Why now? We need to take our Extended Operations (ETOPS) work to the next level and gain FAA certification of ETOPS-equipped aircraft in our fleet and establish required operational processes to offer our Customers nonstop service they expect from California to one of the world's top leisure destinations.

Southwest executives also acknowledged that they are evaluating offering interisland travel - a move that would cut into Hawaiian Airlines' stranglehold in the islands and potentially hurt smaller local carriers Island Air, Mokulele Airlines and Makani Kai Air.

Before it can begin flights, Southwest Airlines must get Federal Aviation Administration approval for Extended Operations so it can fly between the mainland and Hawaii. Another big key in the Hawaii announcement is the launch of Southwest's Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which offer expanded range compared to other models. The airline made the announcement during a company gathering in Southern California.

Southwest Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly called the announcement a "day long-awaited" by customers, fans and employees.

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"We anticipate fares will drop", he said. This has been a long time coming so there's no particular reason for us to rush it.

Southwest has typically driven down airfares on the routes it flies, in what is known as the "Southwest Effect".

The carrier started to take delivery this summer of the Boeing 737 Max 8, a new jet with quieter engines and better fuel efficiency. Later that year, Southwest began flying to Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

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

Southwest says aloha to Hawaii