The wait is finally over. After receiving official certification from the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Southwest Airlines announced on Wednesday that it will soon begin operating flights to Hawaii.
Over the past few months, Southwest has been working closely with the FAA to earn its Extended Range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards (ETOPS) verification, which is required for airlines wishing to fly over oceans. The process involved several test flights designed to ensure Southwest could handle long-haul operation from the West Coast to Hawaii.
In a statement provided to The Points Guy, Southwest said, “Today, the FAA officially granted ETOPS authorization to Southwest Airlines. Now that we have the authorization, Southwest teams will finalize our plans for offering service to Hawaii, and we’ll publicly announce our timing for selling tickets and inaugurating flights to the Hawaiian Islands in the coming days.”
Ticket prices and booking options should become available very soon on Southwest’s Hawaii booking page. Southwest will 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.