Southwest’s ‘Second Wave’ of Hawaii Expansion Is Now Underway
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Southwest Airlines’ long-awaited “second wave” of expansion in Hawaii is now underway.
The carrier announced five new routes from California and detailed plans for serving three new inter-island markets.
Among the California airports getting new Hawaii service is Sacramento, where Honolulu will become Southwest’s first Hawaii route from the city when it launches on Jan. 19.
Also landing new Hawaii routes are Oakland and San Jose. Southwest already flies to Hawaiian islands from those airports, but the airline will add two additional destinations (Kona and Kauai) from each.
Southwest had targeted another California city — San Diego — for Hawaii service as far back as May 2018. However, no Hawaii flights have yet been announced there. On Thursday, Southwest said flights for that “previously announced gateway … will be announced later.”
Beyond California, Southwest also announced plans for three new routes within Hawaii. Two will be from Honolulu, connecting the city with both the island of Kauai and the city of Hilo on the “Big Island” of Hawaii. The third will connect Maui with the city of Kona, also on the Big Island.
With these additions, Southwest says it will offer a total 34 departures a day on inter-island routes.
In a statement, Southwest President Tom Nealon described the expansion as a “second wave of service” for Hawaii, which Southwest added to its route map in March after years of anticipation.
However, expectations of rapid ramp-up there did not materialize as Southwest faced an unexpected shortage of aircraft after Boeing’s 737 MAX jets were grounded later in the same month. Southwest currently has more MAXes in its fleet (34) than any other airline, and it remains unclear when the aircraft might be cleared to fly again.
Southwest has had to compensate by slowing the planned retirement of older 737s and by trimming existing flights off its current schedules. Most recently, Southwest said it would drop its entire schedule at Newark Liberty (EWR), abandoning that airport altogether so it could redeploy those planes elsewhere in its network. The carrier cited the grounding of the MAX in making that move.
Here is the full schedule breakdown for Southwest’s new Hawaii routes:
Honolulu: Begins Jan. 19 (daily service)
Existing routes: None
Kona: Begins Jan. 19 (four flights a week)
Lihue/Kauai: Begins Jan. 21 (three flights a week)
Existing routes: Honolulu, Maui
Lihue/Kauai: Begins Jan. 19 (four flights a week)
Kona: Begins Jan. 19 (three flights a week)
Existing routes: Honolulu, Maui
New Inter-Island routes
Honolulu-Lihue/Kauai: Begins Jan. 19 (four daily round-trip flights)
Honolulu-Hilo: Begins Jan. 19 (four daily round-trip flights)
Kahului/Maui -Kona: Begins Jan. 19 (four daily round-trip flights)
Existing inter-island routes: Honolulu-Maui and Honolulu-Kona
Featured image by Jim Watson/AFP.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees