Just two months ago, Southwest Airlines began operating flights to Hawaii. As one of the largest low-cost airlines in the United States, the airline carrier began service between Oakland and Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) on March 17 with nonstop flights to Hawaii from Oakland and San Jose. The airline has stated they will start service between Hawaii and San Diego and Sacramento, but no dates have been announced.
Southwest’s entry into the Hawaii market has sparked a fare war, which is a great advantage for Hawaii visitors. Hawaiian Air, Alaska Air, and United have all entered the fare war, which means plenty of affordable options for travelers to and from Hawaii.
Currently, Southwest only operates flights from the mainland to HNL (Oahu) and OGG (Maui), but there are inter-island flights connecting those Hawaiian destinations to KOA beginning on May 12. With the addition of Kona, Southwest has 16 Hawaii interisland flights or 1,800 daily interisland air seats. This expansion to a fifth destination within the Aloha State. Joining the destinations of Honolulu International Airport (HNL), Lihue Airport (LIH), Kona International Airport (KOA) and Kahului Airport (OGG) will be Hilo International Airport (ITO).
Southwest plans to begin four-times-daily service to Hilo on the eastern side of the Big Island in late 2019 or early 2020, officials said.