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Southwest Airlines makes it official: Hawaii service on the way
12 October 2017, 05:52 | Joann Bryant
Southwest Airlines. PC Eric Salard
Southwest President Tom Nealon and Gov. David Ige made the joint announcement via satellite from Waikiki Beach behind the Royal Hawaiian to an estimated 10,000 Southwest employees at a company party at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. "We're thrilled to bring Hawaii next year as an option to more than 115 million Customers who already fly with us, annually", said Mike Van de Ven, Chief Operating Officer.
The Dallas-based low-priced carrier expects to begin selling tickets for travel to Hawaii in 2018 and plans to launch an application process for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization for Extended Operations (ETOPS) to operate regular flights between the mainland US and Hawaii.
In a Wednesday statement about the new service Southwest said it was announcing its "intention to launch an application process for Federal Aviation Administration authorization".
Southwest Airlines could be coming to the Aloha State very soon.
Southwest did not reveal routes or the precise timing of when the new service would begin. The planes are more fuel efficient and can fly longer distances than older models.
"We see prices higher than they need to be and we anticipate lowering fares", Watterson said in an interview.
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.
The Company's aircraft and available seat miles plans for 2018 are unchanged with today's announcement.
Southwest has long spoken of plans to begin flights to Hawaii, making it clear that it was only a matter of when, not if, they serve the destination. Southwest is now operating nine MAX 8s and expects to have 14 in service by the end of the year.
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She was returning home from visiting her twin daughters, Hannah and Sarah , who were not even 8 weeks old yet, the page stated. The update continued that the twins "are doing surprisingly well", and are expected to go home in 4 to 6 weeks.