Southwest Airlines began offering flights to Hawaii almost one year ago but now, the carrier has no choice but to announce fight cuts to the island state. The decrease in daily flights from the U.S. mainland and the reduction of flights between the islands of Hawaii is the result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The State of Hawaii recently announced that anyone arriving in Hawaii would need to undergo a 14-day quarantine. This announcement had a significant impact on the demand for flights to Hawaii, and Southwest had to adjust and decrease service in accordance to demand.
Southwest Airlines has stated that the reduction in flights will take place starting April 5. The airline had previously announced a reduction in flights to all of its destinations, starting with flights scheduled around April 12. It was unexpected that the airline would have to cancel more flights earlier than anticipated due to the alarming spread of the coronavirus.
The airline has stated that it will work with passengers who have had their flights canceled. Passengers are encouraged to contact customer service as soon as they are aware that their flights have been affected by the cancellations.
At this time, there has been a reduction in flights to Hawaii effective for dates between April 5 and May 2. The airline is hoping that any additional future flights will remain in effect.
For those who don't already know, Hawaiian Airlines had already reduced its flights to once-daily for flights between Honolulu and Los Angeles and San Francisco, mainly to carry cargo. Hawaiian Airlines will now only fly to American Samoa once weekly in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Hawaiian Airlines is also paring back its inter-island service.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the airline industry globally. All airlines have seen an unprecedented amount of flight cancellations; the coronavirus has caused a tremendous drop in business and leisure travel alike stemming from a confluence of factors such as fear of catching the virus, advisories to stay at home as much as possible, travel restrictions and more.