SAN ANTONIO – Southwest Airlines made a major announcement this week about its plans to begin service to Hawaii.
"Hawaii is an important place for Southwest Airlines because so many people count on us to take them everywhere they want to go reliably and affordably. We're ready and excited to address a request we've heard for years," said Gary Kelly, chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines, during a company gathering in Southern California.
Kelley added California will connect customers to the Hawaiian Islands. No other details about pricing or a schedule have been announced.
Southwest will begin a process to obtain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for Extended Operations, a regulatory requirement to operate between the mainland and the Hawaiian Islands.
President Tom Nealon joined the announcement via satellite from Honolulu's famed Waikiki Beach and introduced the Governor of Hawaii, the Hon. David Ige, who shared his welcome with Southwest Employees.
"The unmatched combination of our people and low fares with nothing to hide will be a game-changer in the U.S. to Hawaii market," Nealon said.
The company's aircraft and available seat miles plans for next year did not change with the announcement.