Southwest Airlines Flying to Hawaii in 2018
About a month ago, Southwest Airlines took delivery of the Boeing 737-800 Max, an upgraded version of the 737-800 which is a regular workhorse in the Southwest fleet. The 800 Max is a bit larger than the 800, but boasts the latest technology and design to allow for longer range with less fuel costs. With this addition to the Southwest fleet, some new destination doors will open up, including the possibility of Canada and even Europe.
Last week, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly announced at an employee rally in California that the airline will be offering flights to Hawaii in 2018. Tickets will go on sale at the beginning of next year. There's no word yet on exact routes or the exact dates this service will be available.
Southwest is the second largest carrier at DIA, but the Denver station is one of the largest in the company and is on pace to be a "mega-station". The "mega" designation is given to stations with close to 300 daily flights. With the longer range 800 Max in the fleet, it is possible that Denver could offer direct to Hawaii flights, but it's more likely that San Diego, Los Angeles, Burbank, Las Vegas, and maybe Phoenix would get those direct flights.
With Southwest in the Hawaii game, this is good news for all travelers as Southwest prides itself on low-cost travel. With their fares entering the marketplace, other airlines will need to compete. If you've been hankering for an island vacation in Hawaii, then 2018 could be the year you do it, and for less.