Southwest Airlines expects to more than quadruple its daily number of seats flying into and between Hawaii’s islands before the completion of its first year of Hawaii service, officials said.
The airline credits strong customer demand for its Hawaii growth, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.
The Dallas-based carrier began flying to Hawaii in March with one daily, round-trip flight between Honolulu and Oakland, California, company officials said.
Southwest expects to fly between Honolulu and Lihue, Hawaii, and Honolulu and Sacramento, California, beginning in November rather than its previous target of January, officials said.
“We’re also moving up our timeline on two routes set to begin in January, and instead will fly them this year,” Adam Decaire, vice president of network planning, said in a statement.
The company plans to add daily service beginning in March 2020 between the islands and California cities including Sacramento, Oakland and San Jose, officials said.
The new Hawaii service increases Southwest’s trans-Pacific seat capacity with daily access to 24 unique departures and 4,200 one-way seats between California and four Hawaii airports.
A previously announced expansion of 34 unique departures offering 5,950 one-way, interisland seats across five Hawaii airports is expected in time for holiday customers. The increases are expected to result in a combined 10,150 seats per day on Hawaii routes, officials said.
The carrier’s expansion was delayed by the Federal Aviation Administration’s grounding in March of Boeing 737 Max jets, which is ongoing.