Southwest Airlines is expanding its flights out of Long Beach Airport. Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines today announced one daily nonstop flight from Long Beach Airport to Honolulu beginning March 11, 2021, with one-way fares starting at $99. The new flight is the airline’s only direct service to Hawaii in the Greater Los Angeles area.

“Long Beach is such a natural Southern California gateway for Southwest service to and from Hawaii, pairing our flexibility and value with the amenities and cool coastal vibe of the airport,” Adam Decaire, vice president of network planning for Southwest, said in a written statement.

The Long Beach flight was part of a broader schedule announcement of new and reinstated Southwest services across the country, including international connections to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta out of John Wayne Airport.

Hawaiian Airlines has been the sole provider of daily flights from Long Beach to Honolulu since coming to the airport in June 2018. The airline suspended service earlier this year due to the pandemic but daily flights are slated to resume Dec. 16.

A Hawaiian representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the Southwest announcement.

Southwest is expected to announce additional destinations in the coming weeks to fill its daily flight slot allotment, which recently doubled from 17 to 34 following JetBlue Airways’ departure from Long Beach. Due to excessively low travel demand because of the pandemic, Southwest is currently only operating 16 daily flights.

“Southwest Airlines continues to be an important partner at Long Beach Airport,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in an announcement. “Our airport is a key economic engine for our city and this is positive news for our financial recovery. We expect even more good news soon.”

Southwest first began Long Beach operations in 2016 with just four of the airport’s 53 daily flight slots.

Editor’s note: Southwest’s original announcement mistakenly included a price of $69, which the company amended to $99. This story has been updated to reflect that change.

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal.