A Southwest Airlines jet arrived in Hawaii this afternoon without a lift, marking the start of the carrier's service to the islands.
A Southwest Airlines jet arrived in Hawaii this afternoon without a hitch, marking the start of the carrier's service to the islands.
The carrier's intake aircraft, suitably numbered 6808, came from Oakland International Airport to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. The 175-seater aircraft had about 165 passengers – a robust 94 percent load factor suggesting that demand was high.
Enthusiasm from the passengers and the southwestern staff, some dressed as leprechauns, was so strong that it sounded like an early St. Patrick's Day party unfolded. The debut got a full-pressure with Hawaiian blessings on both sides. In Honolulu, there were bored greetings, hula dancers, hapa-haol music and an aloha outfits exhibit that rocked back to the old days.
Erie, Pa., Native and great southwestern fans Tim Klan, wife Holly and 10 years – so son Mark made sure not to miss the hoopla. The family has been on 700 Southwestern flights since the couple first commissioned the operator in 2001. They have visited each of the more than 100 destinations that Southwest flies and have been on 30 of the airline's initial flights.
"If we're going to go somewhere new as they fly, we're trying to get a ascent flow. It's a big party. Everyone at the gate and at the airport is in a good mood and very happy," Klan said if Family managed to get Southwest's Hawaii debut flight for $ 99 each way. "We've been waiting for this. We've already booked five round trips to Hawaii. We'll be back for all the other inauguration flights." to Hawaii from the California cities of San Diego, Oakland, San Jose and San Jose. Sacramento and then add inter-country routes that include Maui, Hawaii and Kauai. The airline had expected to flee once in February, but the government turned off delayed regulators from completing the carrier's certification.
To fill aircraft quickly, Southwest took its Hawaii service with initial low prices offering trans-Pacific flights for as little as $ 49 each way and interisland sales from $ 29. Southwest's initial prices won't last forever, but They have already thought of lower rates to and from Hawaii, as other airlines, mainly Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, have responded to the increasingly competitive environment.
Southwest will start service between Oakland and Maui on April 7th. Southwest will start flying between Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport and Honolulu on May 5 and begin service between San Jose and Maui on May 26.
On April 28, the Southwest begins serving inter-country service, four times daily in each direction between Honolulu and Kahului. Beginning May 12, the carrier will start service between Honolulu and Kona flying planes four times daily in each direction.
The extra interisland service will allow the Southwest to provide Kona and Oakland and San Jose connectivity services.
At the end of May, Southwest will already have laid 12 daily trans-Pacific flights to and from Hawaii and 16 inter-country flights, Steven Swan, Southwest's senior director of strategic planning and airline partnership, said in a previous interview.
"On top of the service we have already announced, we will be at 4,900 seats a day," said Swan. "
Southwest has said it will announce service between Hawaii and San Diego, Sacramento, and interisland service to Lihue in" Upcoming weeks. "