March 4 (UPI) -- Much later than planned, Southwest Airlines finally began selling tickets to Hawaii on Monday, with the first flights going on March 17.
The first flight will originate from Oakland International Airport and travel to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, the airline said in a statement. Flights from Oakland to Kahului Airport on Maui start April 7.
Southwest planned to launch the flights at the end of last year, but the federal shutdown delayed the required certification and approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. The airline was given final approval last week.
"I applaud and congratulate our people for their steady and impressive work to bring our world-famous hospitality and game-changing value to the islands," Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said.
To launch the flights, the carrier is offering fares as low as $49, one way. New flights will be added in May from Norman Y. Mineta International Airport in San Jose, Calif., to Honolulu and Kahului.
Southwest will start island-to-island service between Honolulu and Kahului in late April, and from Hawaii Island to Honolulu two weeks later.