Southwest reveals plans to offer interisland Hawaii flights

HILO, Hawaii — Southwest Airlines has announced plans to offer interisland flights across Hawaii, officials said.

Southwest announced Thursday it will begin offering flights from Hilo as early as next year, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Friday.

Two different flights are expected to travel four times daily in each direction beginning Jan. 19, 2020; from Hilo on Hawaii island to Honolulu and from Lihue on Kauai to Honolulu, airline officials said.

There is a “good opportunity here for us, and we believe that we’ve got a phenomenal offering for the people of Hilo, whether they’re flying just to Honolulu or whether they want to connect on to the 90-plus destinations that we have on the mainland as well,” said Steven Swan, Southwest strategic planning director.

The airline did not say when flights travelling to and from the U.S. mainland to Hilo International Airport would begin, officials said.

The Big Island community has had a positive outlook toward the change.

“It’s going to add a secondary interisland option and really open up the gateway through Hilo,” said Ross Birch, Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau executive director.

Southwest is also offering a nonstop once-a-day flight between Kona on Hawaii island and Kahului on Maui, officials said.

Dallas-based Southwest launched its interisland service in March and has since offered more than 15 different flights between the islands.

The airline also expects to begin daily service to Hawaii from Sacramento, Oakland and San Jose, officials said.

Interisland flight prices begin at $29 one way through Aug. 22 for travel between January and March 2020, airline officials said.

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