Southwest Airlines made its maiden voyage to Hawaii on Tuesday.
Federal safety inspectors flew on a Boeing 737-800 from Oakland to Honolulu. It’s part of the process for the airlines to get government approval to begin flying here.
The carrier said the “validation” flight was for communication and navigation processes. The noncommercial flight was the first time a Southwest aircraft landed in Hawaii.
The airline must get a government approval for long over-water flights.
Southwest announced it planned to start offering service to Hawaii in October 2017. Southwest Airlines was granted a permit for lease space at Lihue Airport last year.
The revocable permit was recently approved by the Department of Land and Natural Resource, indicating the Dallas- based carrier’s intention of servicing Neighbor Islands.
Southwest Airlines has announced that it intends to serve Hawaii nonstop, from California airports, including Oakland, San Diego, San Jose and Sacramento, and will also be offering interisland flights.
It said the partial government shutdown delayed its plans to start selling tickets because FAA inspectors were furloughed, according to CNBC.com. Another partial shutdown is possible this month.