Published on : Friday, October 13, 2017
This low-fare airline in USA has been unable to reach the island state until now because it was beyond the reach of the Boeing 737 jets that has made up its fleet.
But earlier this month this airline became the first U.S. carrier to take delivery of the new Boeing 737 Max, a longer range version of Boeing’s workhorse single aisle jet.
Boeing and Southwest must wait for FAA approval for long over-the-water passenger flights for the 737 Max before it can begin service.
But Southwest Airlines will start selling the tickets for the service next year.
Mike Van de Ven, Southwest’s chief operating officer said that they are thrilled to bring Hawaii next year as a travel option to more than 115 million customers who already fly with them annually.
Southwest Airlines has typically driven down airfares on the routes it flies, in what is known as the “Southwest Effect.”
A recent study published by the business school at the University of Virginia earlier this year found that about 109 markets in which Southwest Airlines started service between 2012 and 2015. The fares fell by an average of 15%, with nearly a third of the routes enjoying a drop of more than 20%.
Southwest Airlines is not the only airline looking at a new longer range jet to increase its service to and from Hawaii.
The CEO of Hawaii Airlines said 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.