Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Southwest Plans Hawaii Flights With Boost From Boeing's New 737

Southwest Plans Hawaii Flights With Boost From Boeing's New 737

"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, Soutwest's chief operating officer. It will initially operate ETOPS-equipped Boeing 737-800s to Hawaii, before switching to the 737 Max 8 which it placed into revenue service earlier this month.

Southwest Airlines, the USA carrier known for its lack of seating assignments, short routes and no-frills service late Wednesday announced it plans to start selling tickets for service to Hawaii next year, answering a question that investors and its loyal customers have asked the carrier.

The carrier intends to start ticket sales next year.

The airline said it is making the announcement now because it soon will begin a public application process to obtain the Federal Aviation Administration's ETOPS (Extended Twin Operations) certification for operating aircraft between the mainland and Hawaii.

But Watterson refuted the notion that Southwest won't be able to offer lower fares. It did say it hoped to have non-stop service from California.

The aircraft is less noisy and more fuel efficient than other models.

"We anticipate fares will drop", he said.

Southwest says its capacity plans for 2018 remain unchanged with the Hawaii announcement.

Southwest did not reveal routes or the precise timing of when the new service would begin.

Hawaiian Airlines CEO told CNNMoney recently that it is looking at whether to go ahead with a new Airbus jet to start providing 13-hour direct flights to markets such as India, western Australia and even London, or whether to switch to longer range Boeing jets such as 787 Dreamliners. "We expect Southwest will bleed margins here for a couple years before scaling back or exiting outright".

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