Southwest Airlines to begin service to Hawaii


INDIANAPOLIS (HAWAII NEWS NOW) - Southwest Airlines announced on twitter Wednesday night that they plan to begin service to Hawaii.

The low-cost carrier made the announcement Wednesday evening, ending years of speculation.

While Southwest said it will begin selling tickets to Hawaii next year, it did not release details on which routes the airline will serve.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Southwest Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said the announcement was "long-awaited by our customers, fans and more than 55,000 of the world's most-loved airline employees."

"Hawaii is an important place for Southwest Airlines because so many people count on us to take them everywhere they want to go reliably and affordably. We’re ready and excited to address a request we’ve heard for years," he said.

Mike Van de Ven, Southwest chief operating officer, said the new Hawaii service "begins the next chapter of Southwest Airlines."

"We’re thrilled to bring Hawaii next year as an option to more than 115 million Customers who already fly with us, annually,” he said.

Southwest made the announcement at an employee gathering in Southern California.

Southwest President Tom Nealon and Gov. David Ige joined the announcement via satellite from Waikiki.

Nealon said the service will be a "game-changer in the U.S. to Hawaii market."

Southwest is known for its competitive fares and customer service.

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