As a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine protocol begins today for all Customers arriving in the Hawaiian Islands, we anticipated demand for our service to the islands would continue to fall sharply. We’ve been preparing a temporary flight schedule that supports both the realities of this vastly diminished marketplace for visitors while underscoring our commitment to the communities of Hawaii with a plan to continue providing interisland service for business, medical, and other essential travel.
Beginning April 5, Southwest will compress our Hawaii operation to offer two roundtrips daily between Oakland and Honolulu, and thin our interisland operation to offer twice-daily roundtrip service between Honolulu and airports across neighbor islands. Exceptionally, Honolulu-Kahului will operate three times daily in each direction. This change is intended to be temporary and nimble.
Customers affected by any changes to booked travel will reaccommodated through our established protocols and offered additional flexibility in our published policies. Our flight schedule on Southwest.com and elsewhere already reflects these changes effective April 14 through May 2, with the soon-to-cancel flights April 5-13 already unavailable for booking. We have teams already looking at the May and June schedules, as well, with the steadfast goal of giving our Customers as much notice as possible to changes that affect them.
Given the foundational size of our operation in the East Bay, we chose Oakland as the enduring gateway to facilitate connecting traffic seeking access between the mainland and the islands for essential travel. Crew and aircraft departing Oakland will continue to enable our interisland operation.
We recently celebrated our first anniversary of serving Hawaii and we intend a long-term relationship between Southwest and the islands. We also intend to keep our commitment to our Customers across the islands who need a predictable and vital connection in a time of so much uncertainty.
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I want to take a moment to provide an update on our current plans surrounding the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. As you might know, Southwest removed the MAX from service on March 13, 2019.
Our Teams are working to further increase the Reliability of our schedule and reduce the amount of last-minute flight changes—especially during the upcoming summer travel season. With that in mind, we’ve now modified our schedule through August 5, 2019 to add further stability for Customers booking their summer travel.
While the timing for the return to service of the MAX remains unclear, what is very clear is our commitment to operate a reliable schedule and provide the famous Customer Service you expect from us. Our revised summer schedule allows us to accomplish those objectives.
The limited number of Customers, who have already booked their travel and will be affected by this amended schedule, are being proactively notified so that we can reaccommodate their flight plans well in advance of their travel date.
While the vast majority of our Customers' itineraries have remained unaffected, flight schedule changes have inconvenienced some of our valued Customers, and, for that, I offer my sincerest apologies.
Safety has always been our most sacred responsibility to both our Employees and our Customers, and we will continue to remain in full compliance with all FAA directives and any additional requirements necessary to return this aircraft to service.
Again, our goal is to deliver the excellent Customer Service that you’ve come to know and expect from us and we remain steadfastly committed to that. We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments, and we invite you to visit Southwest.com for the latest updates.
Thanks for your patience and understanding during this time, and please know that the entire Southwest Team looks forward to serving you soon.
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