Southwest Airlines Trims Hawaii Routes By Over 50%

Many evolving changes as Southwest seeks to find its best fit here in Hawaii across a range of mainland and interisland routes. We were somewhat surprised to see what is working best for Southwest Hawaii flights, and you may be too. This pertains only to flights to and from the US Mainland. We’ll cover Southwest Hawaii interisland flights separately. Now read on.

Our research shows that sixteen routes have, over time, either been cut or moved to seasonally-flown, while fifteen continue to operate full-time.

Southwest Hawaii route map continues to show flights that no longer operate.

It appears that Southwest Hawaii’s route map may not have been updated in a long time. The “nonstop flights” shown on it don’t seem to relate to whether or not they are still operating at all.

Last year, some Southwest Hawaii flights already operated seasonally.

Not unusual for the airline industry, Southwest is using a seasonal Hawaii flight rotation. Some Southwest Hawaii routes continue to operate year-round, while others only operate on certain days or in specific seasons.

Numerous airlines have shifted to operating flights several times weekly rather than daily, a scheduling approach adopted by carriers like Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines. Southwest Airlines has recently followed suit, opting for this strategy on routes with lower demand that do not justify daily flights throughout the year.

See: Seamless! Southwest Hawaii Review.

Some flights are returning part-time this week. Those include the following:

  • Los Angeles to Kauai. Operates daily from March 9 through late June, then weekends only until early August, after which they are no longer on the schedule.
  • Los Angeles to Kona. Operates daily from March 9 through late June, then weekends only until early August, after which they are no longer on the schedule.
  • Sacramento to Maui. Operates daily from March 9 through late June, then weekends only until early August, after which they are no longer on the schedule.
  • Long Beach to Maui. Operates Saturdays and Sundays from June through August only.
  • Kona to Los Angeles. Daily until the beginning of August. No flights from then until the end of the schedule.
  • Los Angeles to Maui. Operates infrequently.

These Southwest Hawaii routes are not returning.

While they continue to be shown on the Southwest Hawaii route map as nonstop flights, they no longer operate:

  • Phoenix to Kauai.
  • Phoenix to Kona.
  • Sacramento to Kauai.
  • Sacramento to Kona.
  • San Diego to Kauai.
  • San Diego to Kona.
  • San Diego to Maui.
  • San Jose to Kauai.
  • San Jose to Kona.

These Southwest Hawaii flights operate full time, daily, year-round.

  • Las Vegas to Honolulu.
  • Las Vegas to Kauai.
  • Las Vegas to Kona.
  • Las Vegas to Maui.
  • Long Beach to Honolulu.
  • Oakland to Honolulu.
  • Oakland to Kauai.
  • Oakland to Kona.
  • Oakland to Maui.
  • Phoenix to Honolulu.
  • Phoenix to Maui.
  • Sacramento to Honolulu.
  • San Jose to Honolulu.
  • San Jose to Maui.

What are the significant takeaways from these changes to Southwest Hawaii flights?

1. Honolulu is a winner for Southwest. The majority of their daily year-round flights are to Honolulu from the mainland, with Maui second. This is not unlike the long-standing Hawaiian Airlines paradigm, which has long-used Honolulu as its primary hub. That evolved, however over the past five years, as Hawaiian moved to more direct flights to Kona, Kauai and Maui using their troubled A321neo fleet. Alaska Airlines, by contrast, has largely made its Hawaii bread and butter by short-cutting Honolulu and flying directly to the neighbor islands for more than 15 years.

2. Some neighbor island flights still make sense for Southwest on a year-round basis. Those from Oakland are among them. Many of these however, have either become seasonal, day of week specific, or are gone entirely.

3. Las Vegas flights for Hawaii residents is the other clear winner. Southwest saw the opportunity to join and one-up Hawaiian in this popular destination by adding direct neighbor island flights. We aren’t sure why Hawaiian didn’t do that earlier. Hawaii residents love Las Vegas and Southwest clearly gets that.

Also see: Hawaiian Suspends 151 Flights, Leaving Route To Southwest.

Please share your thoughts on how Southwest Hawaii flights have evolved since they arrived here just five years ago. Also, if we missed any route changes, and you catch them, please kindly let us know. Mahalo.

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23 thoughts on “Southwest Airlines Trims Hawaii Routes By Over 50%”

  1. During the post Covid revenge travel boom SWA flooded the market with ultra budget travelers that fed a lot of the tourism backlash that some have complained about. From the road to Hana to the airport waiting lines, the “SWA effect” was in full force. Now during difficult times they helped create by flooding the market they pull back…..Auwe!

  2. Airlines need to have more direct flights to and from the mainland to the different islands without going to Honolulu which is a major bottleneck. Even if it’s only three times a week .

  3. “And so it goes”

    Too Funny, but really not…

    Best Regards!

  4. That’s a good idea.
    So much wasted time
    Making people wate for planes in
    Not funny!kauai Hilo
    Kauai kona/Maui kauai
    Both Twice a day!who wants double take offs and Landings risk.

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