80°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Southwest Airlines to begin service to Hawaii this month

Southwest Airlines is ready to say aloha to its Hawaii Islands flight service.

The low-cost carrier kicked off ticket sales Monday for its first flights to Hawaii, slated to begin March 17 between Oakland and Honolulu, offering a special two-day sale with fares as low as $49 one way.

With the nonstop service planned to expand to eventually originate from four cities in neighboring California, Southwest CEO Kelly told the Review-Journal last month that Southern Nevada would see an impact from the service as well.

“You’ll (Las Vegas) have great access,” he said. “We’ll definitely have Hawaiians taking advantage of access to Las Vegas.”

As of Tuesday morning, booking a flight from Las Vegas, to Oakland and then Honolulu on Southwest ranged between $158 and $683 one-way depending on the departure day — offered between March and October — chosen.

Las Vegas may not have to wait long to fly directly to the island chain via Southwest, as the Kelly said nonstop flights to Hawaii could fly out of McCarran International Airport as soon as 2020.

Southwest, McCarran’s busiest carrier, began using the Boeing 737 Max 7 planes this year, allowing the airline to fly farther than before, which could open up Vegas-to-Hawaii flight option, Kelly said.

It’s (Las Vegas) strong, stable and we’re going to look for opportunities to grow,” he said. “It’s (737 Max 7 planes) something we’re thinking about for Las Vegas and maybe for Hawaii.”

Monday’s launch was successful for Southwest, as discounted fares, running between $49 and $99, sold out within a couple of hours, with a large number of flights totally selling out within a few hours, according to Dan Landson, Southwest spokesperson.

Initial flights to the Hawaiian Islands will operate between Oakland, Calif. and Honolulu, with the daily flights scheduled to depart Oakland at 8:20 a.m., landing in Honolulu at 11:10 a.m. local time.

Additional nonstop service between San Jose, Calif., and Honolulu will begin on May 5, with nonstop service between San Diego and Sacramento and the island chain set to begin at a later date.

“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,” Kelly said in a statement.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Auto workers strike against GM in contract dispute

More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers walked off General Motors factory floors or set up picket lines early Monday as contract talks with the company deteriorated into a strike.

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy

The company that made billions selling the prescription painkiller OxyContin has filed for bankruptcy days after reaching a tentative settlement with many of the state and local governments suing it over the toll of opioids.

New Jersey casinos woo bettors with new sportsbooks

Now in its second year of allowing sports betting, the state has seen sports wagering surpass expectations, and Atlantic City casinos are upping their game with new sportsbooks.

Price gap between new and resale homes nearing $100k in Las Vegas

The median sales price of a newly built single-family house in Southern Nevada was around $389,450 in July, compared with $295,000 for a previously owned one, a gap of almost $94,450, according to data from Las Vegas-based Home Builders Research.