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DALLAS: October 12, 2017. With 44 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest Airlines has announced it will begin service to Hawaii from the U.S. mainland next year using B737-MAX 8 aircraft.

Meet the MAXSpeaking to thousands of Southwest employees at a company gathering in California, chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said: "A day long-awaited by our customers, fans, and more than 55,000 of the world's most-loved airline employees is finally within sight—a day that will showcase your hospitality, about as far Southwest as you can go in the U.S."

At the beginning of October Southwest launched nine Boeing 737 MAX 8 services with the inaugural flight from Dallas Love Field to Houston, one of the carrier's original markets first flown in 1971.

Southwest has been the world's launch customer for the Boeing 737-300, -500, -700, and MAX series and based on current plans will eventually take delivery of 200 MAX aircraft.

The airline now awaits FAA approval to operate the two -engine aircraft for more than two hours over water explained COO Mike Van de Ven: "The launch of our ETOPS work begins the next chapter of Southwest Airlines. We're thrilled to bring Hawaii next year as an option to more than 115 million customers who already fly with us annually."

In July Southwest reported Q2 net income of US$748 million on revenue of US$5.7 billion. Cargo revenue for the first six months of 2017 was US$86 million, down 1.1 percent over the same period last year, as the U.S. Airforwarders Association named it 'Domestic Carrier of the Year' for the eighth consecutive time. Southwest Q3 results will be published on October 26.

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