Southwest to Compete With Hawaiian’s Interisland Service

March 1, 2019, 2:39 PM HST (Updated March 1, 2019, 2:52 PM)
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Southwest Airlines is planning to challenge Hawaiian Airlines for control of Hawai‘i’s inter-island market, a top executive with the Dallas-based carrier told Bloomberg News on Friday, March 1, 2019.

“We see that big market with higher price points and its short haul, which is what we’re known for,” said Southwest Revenue Chief Andrew Watterson. “The size of the market and the prices led us to see that we can do it profitably.”

Other airlines over the years have competed with Hawaiian Airlines and failed, including Island Air in 2017, Aloha Air in 2008 and Go! in 2014.

Southwest hasn’t disclosed when it will start flying to or within Hawai‘i, having received regulatory approval just this week.

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Hawaiian Airlines officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Southwest received Federal Aviation Administration approval on Feb. 26, 2019, for Hawai‘i service and said it would lay out details for its service “in the coming days.”

The airline initially will fly between San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento and Oakland in California and Maui, O‘ahu, Kaua‘i and Kona on the Big Island.

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