It was announced several years ago that one of the nations leading airline company, Southwest Airlines (SWA) would be flying between the mainland and Hawaii. Crew members have already been attending “flight-over-water” training. Although, most of the plans are still held up behind closed doors, it still appears certain that SWA will have flights to Hawaii.

According to, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly announced plans for the airline’s continued expansion. In regards to Hawaii, while more legwork is needed to commence Hawaii flights, he said it “wouldn’t take years to start flights to the islands.”

Even with much of the details being a “secret”, which seems to have an inside source on the matter predicts these events may take place:

  • Expect see Southwest Hawaii service announced in 2015 with service to commence by 2016. That barring anything unforeseen.
  • Southwest will be limited to flying to Hawaii from the west coast. Even going slightly inland isn’t feasible with their aircraft.
  • Oakland will be the primary mainland departure city. The next most likely Hawaii gateway is Los Angeles.
  • We do not anticipate Southwest offering inter-island service, at least initially.
  • Much more is possible starting in 2017 with Southwest’s new aircraft.

The current aircraft which Southwest have can only make flights between California to Hawaii, nothing further. As far as Las Vegas is concerned, we’ll have to wait until Southwest Airlines invests in the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft which would be capable of making the Hawaii to Las Vegas flight. Until then, we 9th Island Locals would have to connect to Oakland or Los Angeles, then onto Hawaii.

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