Southwest wants to give Hawaiian Airlines a run for its money
Southwest Airlines is about to give Hawaiian Airlines a
literal run for its money as it plans to lay a claim on the Aloha State’s
According to Southwest’s Revenue Chief, Andrew Watterson,
flights within the state will begin not long after the commencement of flights
between Hawaii and the US mainland.
Only time will tell if Southwest will be able to stand the
test of time and flight cost and not fall victim as past competitors have,
starting with Aloha Airlines which shut down in 2008. Go! Airline (Mesa Air)
went belly up in 2014, and Island Air closed its doors in 2017.
Watterson said the short-haul flights in Hawaii are a big
market, adding that this is what Southwest is known for.
The airline will be using the Boeing 737-800 for both
long-haul and inter-island flights. Use of the same aircraft for its long-haul
flights has, in fact, come
under question, as it was actually designed to be a city hopper, not a
long-haul over the ocean airplane.
The aircraft seats 175, but plans are to switch to a 737 Max.
The airline is not worried about filling those seats. Hawaiian Airlines flies
Boeing 717s that seat 128, and also flies an Ohana turboprop commuter that
Watterson said Hawaii’s inter-island market is larger than
the intra-Texas market, which is what Southwest built its airline on using the 737.
According to the US Transportation Department, 6,515 passengers traveled the
inter-island route, comparable to the intra-Texas market which flew 6,212.
Currently, Southwest fares between Houston and Dallas are at
$109. The lowest one-way fare on Hawaiian
Air is $70-$95.