Southwest Airlines made an unusual test flight Wednesday as it seeks regulatory approval to start service to Hawaii: a one-time nonstop from Honolulu to Dallas on a Boeing Co. 737-800.
At about 3,900 miles, the route is about 300 miles beyond the jetliner’s normal range when stuffed with passengers. But “favorable tailwinds and a light aircraft load” will make it work, Dallas-based Southwest said by email. The carrier initially had planned a landing on the West Coast.
Flight 8725 on Wednesday — with no paying passengers — was the second part of Southwest’s first-ever trip to Hawaii as the airline seeks to begin regular service to the islands. The plane flew from Oakland, Calif., to Honolulu on Tuesday, enabling U.S. inspectors to evaluate Southwest’s communication and navigation procedures during long flights over water.
Wednesday’s flight was 6 hours and 40 minutes and the aircraft landed at 8:41 p.m. CST at Dallas Love Field.
Don’t look for a repeat — the flight “does not indicate any service intentions beyond those we’ve already announced,” said Southwest, which is planning to serve Hawaii from the four California cities of Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento and San Diego.