Although Southwest Airlines has been planning to launch flights to Hawaii since 2017, their efforts have been delayed — until now. The first test flight between Oakland, California, and Honolulu, Hawaii, took place yesterday.


The Southwest Boeing 737-800 aircraft flew without any commercial passengers — only airline employees and US government inspectors — with the goal of evaluating the plane’s long-range navigation and communication abilities. Before officially launching regular flights to Hawaii, Southwest must first obtain certification for overwater flying from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Yesterday’s flight was the first in a series that’ll be testing the aircrafts for emergencies above water, such as engine failures and diversions to the nearest airport.

Those tests are the last steps for the airline before it starts flying passengers to the Pacific islands. Southwest is so eager to get us on paradise vacations that it’s already creating a landing page for its Hawaii flights.

Southwest is hoping to provide nonstop service from Oakland, San Diego, San Jose, and Sacramento to Honolulu (on Oahu), Kahului (Maui), Kona (Island of Hawaii), and Lihue (Kauai). The airline also intends to provide interisland service.

Get your credit card ready and hit refresh — cheap flights are coming.

H/T: Travel & Leisure