Shutdown Stalls Southwest Airlines Plan to Begin Hawaii Service

Travelers move through waiting lines at the international counter at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta in this file photo.



a large passenger jet sitting on top of a runway: Southwest Airlines Co. Boeing Co. 737 aircraft sit on the tarmac at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, Calif.


© Bloomberg
Southwest Airlines Co. Boeing Co. 737 aircraft sit on the tarmac at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, Calif.


(Bloomberg) — Efforts by Southwest Airlines Co. to begin flights to Hawaii have fallen victim to the government shutdown.

The carrier has done all it can to secure certification to begin service but can’t move forward without approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for extended flights over water, or ETOPS, the Dallas-based airline said in a statement Monday. Southwest set no new timeline for selling tickets or beginning Hawaii flights.

“The groups within the FAA that oversee ETOPS authorizations are furloughed, and our next steps require their direct participation and oversight,” the carrier said.

Southwest had expected to begin selling tickets for Hawaii flights in late 2018 and to start service this quarter. The carrier announced its Hawaii plans in July 2017.

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