Southwest plans flights to Hawaii beginning in 2018

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It won't be long before you'll be able to book a Southwest Airlines flight to Hawaii. Company officials said they could not say yet when the service will begin. "We know we'll get through the FAA process in time to sell tickets next year, but until the FAA gives us better indications of the authorization timeline, we're not going to speculate and put a date out there".

"Our seat-mile costs are below (other airlines serving Hawaii) and we will offer lower fares than now are in the marketplace".

"We anticipate fares will drop", said Andrew Watterson, executive vice president and chief revenue officer for the airline. "One hundred and seventy-five seats in a 737-800 is a different scale of economy and we can keep costs low by higher efficiencies". "So that leads to lows costs so we have lower than our competitors so we'll be able to bring lower ticket prices".

Southwest Airlines, the US carrier known for its lack of seating assignments, short routes and no-frills service late Wednesday announced it plans to start selling tickets for service to Hawaii next year, answering a question that investors and its loyal customers have asked the carrier. Inter-island flights are also a possibility. Tom Nealon, the airline's president, joined the meeting via satellite from Hawaii's famed Waikiki Beach alongside Hawaii's governor.

"Southwest has a strong brand and a real committed customer base that they will bring to Hawaii. We're ready and excited to address a request we've heard for years", said Kelly.

The carrier doesn't charge a fee to change flights and allows up to two checked bags for free within the size and weight limits.

"They're cheaper, especially if you do the checked bags. Never had any problems", she said.

For years now, enthusiasts, frequent fliers, and the airline industry as a whole have been speculating that Southwest Airlines would at some point commence service to Hawaii, the US state located 2,390 miles from California.

Southwest has typically driven down airfares on the routes it flies, in what is known as the "Southwest Effect".

Hawaiian Airlines issued this statement: "We are no stranger to competition".