Southwest to Challenge Hawaiian’s Interisland Service

March 1, 2019, 2:15 PM HST · Updated March 1, 2:54 PM
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As predicted, Southwest Airlines plans to challenge Hawaiian Airlines for control of Hawaii’s inter-island market, a top executive with the Dallas-based carrier told Bloomberg News on March 1, 2019.

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

Several airlines over the years 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 Hawaii, 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 the Big Island.

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