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Southwest to begin Hawaii flights on 17 March

Southwest Airlines has started sales for its inaugural Hawaii service from California, with first revenue flights to begin within weeks.

The Dallas-based carrier will offer daily service between Oakland and Honolulu from 17 March, followed by daily flights between Oakland and Kahului beginning 7 April.

On 5 May, it will begin flights between San Jose and Honolulu. Service between San Jose and Kahului will launch on 26 May.

Southwest will operate inter-island Hawaii service from 28 April, with four-times-daily service between Honolulu and Kahului. On 12 May, it will add four-times-daily service between Honolulu and Kona.

The carrier says it will announce route details for Hawaii service from San Diego and Sacramento, as well as plans for Lihue, in the coming weeks.

It will compete mostly against Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines on the routes now on sale. Both Alaska and Hawaiian operate from Oakland and San Jose to both Honolulu and Kahului, Cirium schedules data show.

The two airlines, as well as United, also operate to Honolulu and Kahului from San Francisco. Sun Country Airlines plans to offer seasonal service between San Francisco and Honolulu beginning in May.

On inter-island service, Southwest will compete against Hawaiian on the routes to Kahului and Kona from Honolulu. Mokulele Airlines also operates from Honolulu to Kahului.

Southwest received extended twin-engine operations certification, or ETOPS, from the US Federal Aviation Administration in late February for the Hawaii service, after delays related to the US government shutdown in January.

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