Southwest Airlines Co. will begin its first service to Hawaii from Oakland, California, on March 17 and add inter-island flights next month.
The initial service to Honolulu will be followed by a route between Oakland and Kahului Airport in Maui on April 7, with flights from San Jose, California, to two Hawaiian cities –Honolulu and Kahului — added in May. Fares booked Monday and Tuesday start as low as $49 one way, Southwest said in a statement Monday.
The Hawaii flights crown an expansion effort begun by the Dallas-based carrier in 2017 for flights beyond the Continental U.S., including bolstering its limited network of flights to nearby international markets. The discounter will face off against other major U.S. airlines on service from the mainland, and challenge Hawaiian Holdings Inc.’s control of flights among the state’s islands.
“Hawaii, we’re in this for good,” Southwest Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said in the statement.
Hawaiian fell 8.6 percent to $27.08 at 10:53 a.m. Southwest fell 0.4 percent to $54.15.
Southwest will fly a Honolulu-Oakland roundtrip twice daily as of March 24, with Oakland-Kahului starting twice daily on April 10. San Jose-Honolulu flights start May 5, and San Jose-Kahului begin May 26.
Among the Hawaiian islands, Southwest first will fly between Honolulu and Kahului with four round trips daily starting April 28, followed by service between Honolulu and Ellison Onizuka International Airport at Keahole on Hawaii Island beginning May 12, also with four daily round trips.
The airline has yet to announce plans for Hawaiian flights from San Diego and Sacramento in California, or flights to Lihue on Kauai.
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