Southwest Airlines completed its first flight to Hawaii Tuesday, the first step in the carrier’s process to have planes for travel to the islands.
According to a news release, the flight is part of the airlines's Extended-range, Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards certification process with the Federal Aviation Administration.
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USA Today reported that, according to Southwest spokesman Brian Parrish, no passengers were on the two-engine Boeing 737 jet, which departed from Oakland, California. FAA representatives and Southwest employees, including pilots, were on board as part of the certification process.
The flight returned to the contiguous United States Wednesday, arriving at Dallas Love Field Airport in Texas that afternoon.
Parrish told USA Today that the airline will announce details on when flights will be available at a later date.
“Once we pass all phases of the ETOPS application process to the satisfaction of the FAA and receive our ETOPS authorization, we will announce further details of timing for selling and operating flights,” he said.
Once the service begins, Southwest flights to Hawaii will be from California, and inter-island flights will follow.