A long-awaited new option for Aloha will be reality starting March 17. Southwest Airlines will be starting a new route from Oakland International Airport in Oakland, California to Daniel K. Inouye International in Honolulu, Hawaii. The second flight of the Southwest route will be from Oakland to Kahului Airport on Maui. The carrier will add more ways to get to the islands in the following weeks by adding service from Norman Mineta San Jose International Airport to Honolulu in the beginning of May and Kahului at the end of May. Southwest won’t only be operating service from the mainland to the islands, the budget carrier will also provide interisland service between Honolulu and Kahului four times each day. The interisland service will make it easier to make a Southwest connection from the mainland to island to island. Additional service is planned from San Diego and Sacramento to the Hawaiian Islands in the following months.
“As we answer the call for Southwest in Hawaii with an initial schedule of service that speaks to a long-held hope of our customers, I applaud and congratulate our people for their steady and impressive work to bring our world-famous hospitality and game-changing value to the islands,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ Chairman & Chief Executive Officer.
With this low-fare behemoth getting into the south seas market, we’re wondering if overall fares will drop due to increased competition. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if the other carriers follow suit to match the new competitor’s budget fares.