First, news that Southwest is now recruiting for an ETOPS Program Manager. This is only further indication that the news we broke prior to Southwest’s own announcement is correct. They do indeed have their sights firmly focused on Hawaii.
Then today, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly made it official that the carrier is ordering 737-800s. He added that these plans will come to them “ETOPS enabled,” or in other words ready to fly here to Hawaii.
- Southwest will begin receiving Hawaii-capable 737-800 aircraft from Boeing within the next two years. If there’s one thing we can all learn from Allegiant’s Hawaii debut delay, it’s that ETOPS certification is a lengthy and complicated process that should be undertaken as quickly as possible. Southwest gets that.
- If you think they’re going to do Hawaii in some small way, think again. While they won’t all be for Hawaii of course, they’re talking about an order of perhaps 80 of the new planes, with 20 of them being firm orders already placed for 2012 delivery.
- There are no locations of which I’m aware, other than Hawaii, that would necessitate Southwest’s obtaining an ETOPS certificate.
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