Southwest Airlines‘ second wave of service to Hawaii is now ready to fly. The carrier announced its updated schedule today, with flights to begin in mid-January 2019. Sacramento will be added as a mainland gateway with the new schedule while Lihue and Hilo are to be added as destinations on the islands. Lihue and Kona will offer nonstop service to the mainland; Hilo is only an inter-island destination for now.
Three new daily services will cross the Pacific, growing the carrier’s total to nine in each direction. Kona and Lihue will each see one daily flight to and from the mainland. The California gateway will shift between Oakland and San Jose depending on the day of week. Sacramento gains service to Honolulu on a daily basis. The new schedule also features 34 daily interisland departures, more than doubling the current 16 flights.
We’re energized 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.– Tom Nealon, Southwest Airlines’ President
The carrier’s expansion in Hawaii was delayed by the grounding of the 737 MAX earlier this year, leading to a lack of aircraft to fuel Southwest’s growth ambitions. Last month it announced that the Newark station would close, freeing up existing planes for what the company sees as more strategic and profitable services on the west coast.
In addition to the nonstop flights Southwest also highlights connections available between Hawaii and several other mostly west-coast cities.
- San Diego (SAN)
- Los Angeles Area (LAX,BUR,ONT,SNA,LGB)
- Albuquerque (ABQ)
- Boise (BOI)
- Spokane (GEG)
- Las Vegas (LAS)
- Portland (PDX)
- Phoenix (PHX)
- Seattle (SEA)
- Salt Lake City (SLC)
- Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)
Because the carrier does not offer overnight flights nor overnight connecting itineraries the total options for onward connections is somewhat limited.
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Southwest previously announced that San Diego will also be a gateway city for flights to the islands. That service did not make it into this second wave of flights. The company still intends to add such service, with details to be announced later.