Southwest Airlines has officially received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval to fly between the mainland United States and the Hawaiian Islands.
While the airline said specific routes are not yet available for purchase, they plan to begin Hawaii nonstop service from Oakland (OAK), San Diego (SAN), San Jose (SJC), and Sacramento (SMF). Their plan also includes flights into Honolulu, HI (Oahu), Kahului, HI (Maui), Kona, HI (Island of Hawaii), and Lihue, HI (Kauai), as well as inter-island service.
Southwest has been working with the FAA to gain certification to fly their Southwest 737s over the ocean. The certification includes test flights and other standards to show the FAA they can fly over the ocean from the west coast without needing anywhere to land.
“Today, the FAA officially granted ETOPS authorization to Southwest Airlines,” the airline said in a statement to The Points Guy. “Now that we have the authorization, Southwest Teams will finalize our plans for offering service to Hawaii, and we’ll publicly announce our timing for selling tickets and inaugurating flights to the Hawaiian Islands in the coming days.”
Southwest Airlines plans to announce their schedules to the Hawaiian Islands in the coming days.