Southwest Airlines to start flying to Hawaii

Southwest Airlines. Photo via Forbes.

HONOLULU (CBS) Southwest Airlines has launched its new service to Hawaii, Hawaii News Now reports. The company made the official announcement to thousands of employees first during a gathering in Los Angeles, ending years of speculation.

The carrier intends to start ticket sales next year. As for when service will begin, that’s still up in the air as the company secures FAA approval to operate between the mainland and Hawaii.

“On average, our fares will be lower than theirs or bring down the market price. That’s called the ‘Southwest Effect,'” said executive vice president Andrew Watterson. “Low costs come from very efficient operations. We pay our people well, but we work them hard and we work the airplanes hard. So that leads to lows costs so we have lower than our competitors so we’ll be able to bring lower ticket prices.”

Company officials plan to announce specific routes at a later date, but did reveal that they will begin on the West Coast, with the first flights from California. Inter-island flights are also a possibility.