Southwest Airlines will begin low-cost service to Hawaii from California March 17, 2019, after receiving FAA certification for long overwater flights.
Southwest Airlines will operate nonstop service from the California cities of Oakland, San Diego, San Jose and Sacramento to the Hawaiian islands of Oahu (Honolulu), Maui (Kahului), Kauai (Lihue) and the Island of Hawaii (Kona).
The carrier will also launch interisland flights.
Following is the scheduled timeline of the service rollout.
- Oakland to Honolulu begins once daily March 17, 2019. Honolulu to Oakland begins once daily March 18. The route will be flown twice daily in each direction as of March 24.
- Oakland to Kahului begins once daily April 7, 2019. Kahului to Oakland begins once daily April 8. The route will be flown twice daily in each direction as of April 10.
- Interisland service between Honolulu and Kahului begins April 28, four times daily in each direction.
- San Jose to Honolulu service begins May 5, once daily in each direction.
- Interisland service between Honolulu and Kona begins May 12, four times daily in each direction.
- San Jose to Kahului service begins May 26, once daily in each direction.
Additional service details, including plans for the gateways of San Diego and Sacramento, and for Lihue, Kauai, will be announced in the coming weeks.
“As we answer the call for Southwest in Hawaii with an initial schedule of service that speaks to a long-held hope of our customers, I applaud and congratulate our people for their steady and impressive work to bring our world-famous hospitality and game-changing value to the Islands,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ chairman and CEO.
Customers may now book the carrier’s initial wave of Hawaii service at Southwest.com/Hawaii. Southwest Airlines' introductory launch fares were posted March 4, 2019, as low as $49 each way between California and Hawaii and $29 each way interisland if booked by March 5, 2019. However, Southwest confirmed the lowest fares had sold out by 3 p.m. March 4, although low fares were still available.
According to The Points Guy, other airlines, such as Alaska, were responding to Southwest Airlines' low introductory Hawaii fares with flights to Hawaii from $197 roundtrip.
Beyond the introductory fares, Southwest Airlines reiterated its everyday value in low fares that offer everybody the same brand standards:
- No fees to change tickets.
- And two free checked bags.
Southwest originally announced its intention to expand to Hawaii in October 2017 and had been in the middle of the multistep federal certification process for over-ocean flights.
The process was delayed earlier this year due to the partial U.S. government shutdown.
In early February 2019, Southwest Airlines' first Boeing 737-800 had touched down in Honolulu as part of the authorization process. Visit Southwest.com/Hawaii to learn more.