Dallas-based Southwest Airlines has unveiled a host of new links to, from and within Hawaii as it strengthens its presence in the Pacific archipelago. The routes are due to launch in mid-January 2020, and feature a new daily service between Sacramento and Honolulu/Daniel K Inouye. Other highlights include non-stop flights from both Oakland and San Jose to Kona and Lihue.
On top of the connections linking the US mainland to the Pacific state, Southwest has also announced its intention to boost links within the islands via a new service between Lihue and Hilo on the Island of Hawaii.
Tom Nealon, Southwest Airlines president commented: “We’re energised by the warm aloha Southwest has enjoyed in response to our initial Hawaii offering and this second wave of service is an investment that broadens our everyday value. We’re focused on bringing Hawaii an authentically Southwest experience with comfort across all seating—for every customer—along with in-cabin snack enhancements for our flights between Hawaii and the mainland.”
The latest developments follow Southwest’s decision in October 2017 to begin technical planning for future services between the US mainland and Hawaii. The carrier applied to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in January 2018 for permission to operate the links, and announced the airline’s initial destinations in spring 2018. Following regulatory hurdles, the company finally operated its first Hawaiian service on March 17, 2019 from Oakland to Honolulu. Today, it flies up to 12 rotations each day between Hawaii and the US mainland, on top of 16 inter-island departures.