OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Just days after announcing it has received approval from the federal government, Southwest Airlines is now offering flights from two Bay Area airports to Hawaii to the public.
The airline announced Monday that it will begin service from Oakland International Airport to Honolulu on March 17th and service to Maui on April 7th.READ MORE: COVID Reopening: 'We Have Confidence' About Fans At Ballparks On Opening Day, Newsom Says
From Mineta San Jose International Airport, service to Honolulu will begin on May 5th, while service to Maui will begin on May 26th. Service from the Bay Area to the Big Island, connecting through Honolulu, will begin on May 12th.
“The cheapest fares are about $298 round trip and that’s not just on Southwest, but we see Alaska Airlines come in and aggressively match Southwest, American Airlines has come in with fares of about $275 round trip,” said Chris McGinnis, editor of the Travel Skills blog on SF Gate.
The promotional fares of $98 round trip tickets from Southwest that went on sale Monday morning quickly sold out. McGinnis said that the competition could bring prices down from other airlines.READ MORE: UPDATE: Ferris Wheel to Stay in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park Through 2025
“It’s definitely sparked a lot of discounting in the market and I think that we’re going to see that for the next year as the major carriers adjust to Southwest being in the market,” said McGinnis.
Southwest promoted its new service, which features “Islands-inspired drinks and snacks” by offering tickets as low as $49 one way from the Bay Area to Hawaii. Travelers would need to purchase their tickets by Tuesday and must travel before June 19th.
The low-fare carrier’s announcement sent shares of competitor Hawaiian Airlines reeling. Hawaiian’s stock dropped by nearly 11 percent in trading Monday.
Additional service from Sacramento and San Diego airports, along with service to the island of Kauai will be announced in the coming weeks.MORE NEWS: Fremont Shooting Injures 1; Hours-Long Standoff At Home Ends
Last week, the airline said it received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration for its ability to operate long, over-water flights. The certification was reportedly delayed by the 35-day partial government shutdown that began late last year.