After months of delays and anticipation, Southwest Airlines’ initial flights to Hawaii sold out shortly after going on sale on Monday.
The inaugural routes from both Oakland and San Jose to Honolulu and Maui, and from Oakland and San Jose to Kona, which had introductory one-way fares as low as $49 and $79, sold out.
The carrier will make its first flight from Oakland to Honolulu on Mar. 17, kicking off daily service between the destinations. The route will be flown twice daily in each direction as of Mar. 24.
Flights from Oakland to Kahului will launch once daily on Apr. 7; while a Kahului to Oakland route begins Apr. 8. The route will be flown twice daily in each direction as of Apr. 10.
Additional service from San Jose to Honolulu will start on May 5; while San Jose to Kahului begins May 26.
Southwest will operate its first interisland service within Hawaii between Honolulu and Kahului, four times daily in each direction, beginning Apr. 28. It will be followed by service between Honolulu and Ellison Onizuka International Airport at Keahole (KOA) on Hawaii Island, four times daily in each direction, beginning May 12. The additional interisland service will make possible connecting service between Kona and both Oakland and San Jose.
Additional service details, including plans for previously announced gateways of San Diego and Sacramento, and for Lihue, on Kauai, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Like all Southwest flights, there will be no fees to change tickets and two free checked bags. The airline said Hawaii flights will have seats with 32 inches of pitch, slightly more than the average of 31, and island-inspired drinks and snacks.
The low-cost airline announced last week it had finally received the green light from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate its Boeing 737 jets on the long over-water routes. The government shutdown postponed the authorization process, delaying the Hawaii launch by several months.