SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Southwest’s Sacramento to Hawaii flights will more than likely not start before the New Year, although we may get to start buying flights sooner than that.
Southwest Airlines released its earnings report Thursday and revealed it is pulling all Boeing MAX-related flights from the schedule through January 5, 2020. The planes were grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration due to safety concerns. The airline previously announced it had pulled the planes from its schedule until early November, but made the decision to remove it through the holidays, “to provide reliability of our operation and dependability for our Customers booking their fall and holiday travel.”
Boeing expects to have the MAX back in service during the fourth quarter of 2019 but Southwest will need to train its pilots and comply with other FAA directives, which is expected to take one to two months.
As for the Sacramento to Hawaii flights, Southwest’s Chairman and CEO, Gary C. Kelly, said, “While the lack of available aircraft, due to the MAX groundings, resulted in expansion delays to Hawaii, we are excited to resume growth plans next month with the first of several intended announcements. We will offer service to the Islands from both Sacramento and San Diego, as well as bring Southwest service to both Lihue, on Kauai, and Hilo, on the Island of Hawaii. We will provide details of the next phases of Hawaii flying in the coming weeks and months, as we put new flights out for sale.”
A Southwest spokesperson previously told CBS13 the long-awaited Sacramento to Hawaii flights would be delayed until the MAX returns to the schedule. The airline originally planned to start offering them in the Spring.
In its earnings report, Southwest also announced it would stop flying in and out of Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. Sacramento doesn’t fly direct into Newark.