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Southwest Airlines & # 39; Hawaii Service debuted Sunday, eventually giving the nation's largest domestic operator a footprint in the vacation flight.

Southwest Flight 6808, a 5 1/2 hour nonstop flight from Oakland, California, to Honolulu, landed at 14.00 local time. It was met by Hawaii Governor David Ige and Southwest Airlines president Tom Nealon.

Passengers on the inauguration were treated to leis and hula dancing in planes and were the first to try the extended snack package that will be served on no-fill the airline's Hawaii flights. In addition to the airline's standard red bag of pretzels, passengers received wheat thin, Welch's fruit juice, Tic Tacs and a white cheddar cheese spread. New drinks include Longboard Island Stocks from the Kona Brewing Company, Minute Maid Pineapple Orange Juice and Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spicy Room.

Southwest has talked about adding Hawaii on the route map for many years and made it a priority in late 2017 when it was used for the Federal Aviation Administration certification for long over-water flights with its Boeing 737s. A number of competitors, including United, Alaska, Delta, American and Hawaiian Airlines, have long had flights to the bucket list destination.

Southwest FAA approval arrived in late February, and the airline began selling tickets to Hawaii on March 4, with prices as low as $ 49 each way.

More: These are all routes American airlines fly to Hawaii


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The airline starts Little, with a flight each way every day between Oakland and Honolulu.

Southwest will add an additional daily flight between Oakland and Honolulu on 24 March. [19659005] Related: Why can't Midwest and East Coast travelers find Southwest Airlines return flights from Hawaii?

In April, the airline will add daily flights between Oakland and Maui and begin

In May, the airline launches flights between San Jose and Honolulu and Maui.

These are starting dates for these routes:

  • Oakland-Maui: April 7
  • Oakland-Kona May 12
  • San Jose-Honolulu: May 5
  • San Jose-Kona: 12. May
  • San Jose-Maui: May 26

Southwest plans to fly nonstop from San Diego and Sacramento to Hawaii, and also plans to serve the island of Kauai, but it has not announced when these aircraft will begin.

Travelers pepper the airline daily with questions about when these routes will begin and when the tickets go on sale.

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly has repeatedly called Hawaii a great opportunity for the airline, especially given its strong presence in California.

The airline's first Hawaii aircraft is on the Boeing 737-800, but Southwest has long said it plans to use the newer, more fuel-efficient Boeing 737 Max 8 flights to Hawaii.

But it is the plane that was grounded by the FAA last week in the wake of two deadly crashes in less than five months.

More : You don't have to be at 737 Max to be affected by the ground [19659005] More: Boeing 737 Max: How many of these planes fly to Southwest, American, United and where?

Grounding will not affect Southwest's short-term Hawaii plans because the airline has not even had the aircraft certified for long over-water flights. Spokesperson Brian Parrish said last week that Southwest does not have a schedule to apply for ETOPS certification for Max 8. ETOPS stands for extended range for two-engine operational performance.

ETOP certification, a long process involving new flight manuals and procedures, training and exercises and test flights with FAA officials, is required for twin engine air on routes where alternative airports are not nearby if airplane issues arise.

Earth has influenced some Hawaii aircraft on competitor United Airlines. The airline uses Boeing 737 Max 9 on some flights between Los Angeles and Hawaii.

More : Why can't Midwest and East Coast travelers find return flights from Hawaii on Southwest

More : Southwest flights to Hawaii: 12 things you need to know [19659005] More: Here are 10 things to do on Oahu when you get there


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