As of 7/23/20. Today’s Southwest Hawaii updates are interesting in multiple ways. Here’s what we have learned recently in six bullet points and more below.
This comes as the airline just reported a $915 million loss in the past quarter as compared with a $714 million profit last year. Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines CEO said earlier today that. “It’s almost impossible to plan right now.” He went on to call the recovery “a saw-toothed slog,” adding “We know enough now that we’ve got a long, long way to go.” So here is what we can report for now.
1. Southwest Hawaii flights are set to resume normally on September 1, if the State of Hawaii allows visitors to bypass the 14-day quarantine via testing. Remember that through August, a mandatory 14-day isolation is required for all arrivals in Hawaii. See what might happen then.
2. Travel on Southwest can now be booked through January 4, 2021. The airline said, “We do not have a date for our next schedule extension” beyond January 4.
3. For increased safety and confidence, Southwest will leave middle seats open through at least October. All passengers over 2 must wear masks on board. Southwest is currently testing the use of thermal cameras and has asked the TSA to take on that responsibility.
4. Southwest and other airlines are continuing to modify their schedules based on presumed travel resumption dates. Please check the airline’s website directly for the latest schedules, as these can change frequently.
5. Until August 31, the only Southwest Hawaii flights operating are ones deemed “essential flights.” Those are mostly comprised of limited services between Oakland/San Jose and Honolulu/Maui plus inter-island flights.
6. Plans for the Boeing 737 MAX fleet’s return to schedule has just been updated too. See CEO Gary Kelly’s latest on that below.
Latest Southwest Hawaii routes and frequencies:
OAKLAND: Honolulu (2 daily ongoing); Maui (2 daily starting 9/1); Kona (1 daily starting 9/1); Kauai (1 daily starting 9/1)
SAN JOSE: Honolulu (1 daily ongoing); Maui (1 daily starting 9/1); Kona (1 daily starting 9/1); Lihue (1 daily starting 9/1).
SACRAMENTO: Honolulu (1 daily starting 9/1); Maui (1 daily starting 9/1).
SAN DIEGO: Honolulu (1 daily starting 9/1).
HONOLULU: Oakland (2 daily ongoing); San Jose (1 daily starting 9/1) Sacramento (1 daily starting 9/1); San Diego (1 daily starting 9/1); Interisland: Maui, Kona, Lihue, Hilo (4 daily ongoing).
MAUI: Oakland (2 daily starting 9/1); San Jose (1 daily starting 9/1); Sacramento (1 daily starting 9/1); Interisland: Honolulu (4 daily ongoing), Kona (1 daily ongoing).
KONA: Oakland (1 daily starting 9/1); San Jose (1 daily starting 9/1); Interisland: Honolulu (4 daily ongoing); Maui (1 daily ongoing).
KAUAI: Oakland (1 daily starting 9/1); San Jose (1 daily starting 9/1); Interisland: Honolulu (4 daily ongoing).
HILO: Interisland: Honolulu (4 daily ongoing).
737 MAX return update.
The FAA said this week it will likely issue an airworthiness directive in the “near future.” That will be followed by a 45-day public comment period. Thus, it is likely that the planes will be permitted to return to the air in October or soon thereafter.
Until then, Southwest will continue using 737-800 planes for Hawaii flights.
Will Southwest Hawaii expansion ever resume and, if so, when and where?
Further Southwest Hawaii expansion remains unsure during these turbulent times. If and when Hawaii expansion resumes, the following is our list of possible expansion cities, in the order of likelihood.
Salt Lake City.
Note that we have moved Los Angeles from likely to now be doubtful, while Orange County will simply never happen.
Photo credit: SWA.