Southwest Airlines Heads to Hawai`i

Edited to include additional information.

Southwest Airlines will soon host flights to and from Hawai`i.

The announcement was made via the company’s Twitter account late Wednesday afternoon.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Airlines Gary Kelly said via the company’s “stories” portion of its community website that he had just shared with employees that they are “…going to Hawai`i, baby!”

“The day is finally here that we can say we’re going to add some Aloha to our world-famous Hospitality, as Southwest Airlines will soon serve the Hawaiian Islands!” Kelly continued.

The company intends to launch an application process for Federal Aviation Administration authorization for Extended Operations. Service details will be announced at a later date, an official media release from the company announced.

“A day long-awaited by our Customers, fans, and more than 55,000 of the world’s most-loved airline employees is finally within sight—a day that will showcase your Hospitality, about as far Southwest as you can go in the U.S.,” Kelly said during the formal announcement “Hawai`i is an important place for Southwest Airlines because so many people count on us to take them everywhere they want to go reliably and affordably. We’re ready and excited to address a request we’ve heard for years.”

“The launch of our ETOPS work begins the next chapter of Southwest Airlines. We’re thrilled to bring Hawai`i next year as an option to more than 115 million Customers who already fly with us, annually,” said Mike Van de Ven, Chief Operating Officer.

Southwest President Tom Nealon joined the announcement in Southern California via satellite from Waikiki Beach and introduced Governor David Ige, who shared his welcome with Southwest employees. “The unmatched combination of our people and low fares with nothing to hide will be a game-changer in the U.S. to Hawai`i market,” Nealon said in accepting the Governor’s invitation.

Southwest is based out of Dallas, TX and is the nation’s largest domestic air carrier.