Southwest Preparing to Make a Run at Hawaii

Holly Hegeman reports that Southwest is advertising for an ETOPS manager.

One only needs to consult Wikipedia on ETOPS if you aren’t familiar to know that it means they’re looking to fly significant distances over water that are far from the nearest diversion airport.

And their current aircraft won’t make it to Europe. The folks down in Dallas are getting themselves positioned to fly to Hawaii!

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Or could they be looking to get in on some longer range gov’t charters that require ETOPS?

    Sun Country ran limited MSP-London flights this summer (tech stop enroute), rumored partly to qualify for gov’t charter contracts (apparently they had to demonstrate organizational capability for ETOPS).

  2. @msp2anywhere

    Aren’t gov aircraft exempt from etops? Seems odd that they would require it for charters but not for their own aircraft?

  3. @sean

    IIRC, gov’t owned a/c are exempt (but fall under individual branch/dod/departmental regs), but chartered would still fall under FAA guidelines.

    My exposure is USAF-centric, where the vast majority of our long range capability is 4 engine, with a some C-40s (737s) around the globe and the C-32s (757s) at Andrews. Not sure about the smaller biz jets in PACAF.

    Not knocking the Hawaii speculation, though, which would be nice, but kinda looooong on a Southwest bird. With the AirTran buyout maybe they’re literally going to take on the world?

  4. American Samoa Government proposing to SW inaugurate a service Pago Pago to Honolulu. PG to HON is Hawaiian Air’s most profitable route. $1,300 return.

    From Pago Pago

    John Wasko

  5. @John it is NOT Hawaiian’s most profitable route, in fact federal subsidies are necessary for Hawaiian to be willing to fly it. High fares, low loads.

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