Government shutdown delays Southwest’s plans to start Hawaii service

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Jan. 14, 2019 at 11:18 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Southwest Airlines' plans to service Hawaii are now on hold thanks to the ongoing government shutdown.

Southwest had been working with the Federal Aviation Administration to obtain what’s called ETOPS — or extended-range twin-engine operational performance standards — certification for extended over-water flights.

But the problem: The FAA workers who oversee those activities are on furlough due to the government shutdown.

A Southwest spokesman told USA Today the airline continues to prepare for Hawaii internally, but it can’t complete the process until the shutdown is over.

The airline announced plans to operate from Hawaii to several California airports, as well as Neighbor Island service. But the exact routes that will be offered and how frequently haven’t been discussed.

The airline had hoped to start selling tickets by the end of 2018.

Southwest is known for its low operating costs, and competes by passing on those cost savings to passengers.

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