Business & Real Estate

Southwest Airlines announces plans for Hawaii flights

Planning a Hawaii trip? Your options could get cheaper soon.

Southwest announced Wednesday that it plans to offer Hawaii flights, likely beginning next year:

The islands were beyond the flight range of its Boeing 737 jets, KTLA5 and SFGate report. But the airline is the first carrier to begin accepting the new Boeing 737 Max, which has a longer range.

Southwest said it is seeking FAA approval to gain Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards certification for the new planes, which is required to fly to Hawaii, SFGate says. If it gets that approval, Southwest expects to start selling tickets next year.

The airline said service details will be announced in the future.

In a phenomenon called the Southwest Effect, the airline typically drives down fares on routes it joins. This could signal lower fares to get to and from the vacation destination.