Southwest Airlines’ first flight to Hawaii a success from Oakland
East Bay airport launches carrier’s West Coast - Hawaiian Islands routes with inaugural to Honolulu
Oakland, Calif. - March 18, 2019: It’s an Aloha Monday in Oakland after the first Southwest Airlines flight to the Hawaiian Islands arrived in Honolulu Sunday evening with 152 passengers and seven crew members. The Airport and Airline celebrated with a festive Hawaiian send-off at Oakland International Airport Sunday.
Scores of passengers, Airline, and Airport staff and officials crowded Terminal 1 at the Oakland International Airport Sunday morning as hula dancers welcomed revelers and onlookers to witness the long-awaited launch of Southwest Airlines’ inaugural service from the US Mainland to Hawaii.
The flight, which received a traditional Hawaiian blessing from Kahu Danny Akaka and his wife, Anna, departed Oakland at just after 11AM local time on Sunday, landing in Honolulu just after 2PM local time.
Port of Oakland Director of Aviation, Bryant L. Francis, said, “We are so pleased and honored that our partners at Southwest selected Oakland to be the launch point from the mainland US for its new service to Hawaii. This exciting new option is important because Southwest already serves more than two-thirds of the travelers at OAK, and will attract a different kind of customer traveling to Hawaii from the Bay Area and points across the country. We expect that the service will be successful and that the other airlines serving Hawaii from Oakland will continue to do well.”
The airline announced early last year that it planned to launch service to Honolulu (island of Oahu), Kahului (Maui), Lihue (Kauai) and Kona (Hawaii's “Big Island"), setting off industry-wide speculation about which mainland cities would receive the service. Oakland, a Southwest Airlines focus city, was announced last May as one of the first cities to host the service.
Tickets went on sale March 4th on the Airline’s website, signaling the start of service Sunday from Oakland. Many lucky passengers snagged introductory prices as low as $49 (one way) as part of a two-day offer tied to the announcement.
Southwest has served Oakland for more than 30 years.
About Oakland International Airport
Oakland International is the most centrally-located airport in the 7.7M population Bay Area region, and closest airport to the region’s wealth of business and tourism venues. Oakland’s air service roster to over 65 nonstop destinations is offered on 14 different airline brands – seven of which operate with OAK as their sole gateway into the San Francisco Bay region.
The vision of Oakland International Airport is to offer customers a world-class experience and be the airport of choice for Bay Area residents and visitors alike. OAK is operated by the Port of Oakland, which also oversees the Oakland seaport and 20 miles of waterfront. Together with its business partners, the Port supports more than 84,000 jobs in the region and over a million jobs across the United States.
For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps, and details on shopping, dining, transportation, and more, visit www.oaklandairport.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Links to Still Photos and B-Roll footage:
Southwest Airlines Press Release with Photos and Video Links
Still Photos of Celebrations in Oakland and Honolulu
Traditional Hawaiian Blessing of Aircraft
Gate Celebration and Remarks by Southwest Chief Revenue Officer, Andrew Watterson
Keonnis R. Taylor