Mayor Harry Kim says Southwest Airlines is coming to Hilo.
Kim mentioned Friday evening while addressing residents affected by last year’s Kilauea eruption that the airline made that commitment to him over the phone.
The news couldn’t be confirmed by the airline by deadline.
He said there will be four flights a day between Hilo and Honolulu by the fall plus direct flights from Hilo to the mainland “before the holidays.”
The airline, which is challenging Hawaiian Airlines’ monopoly, entered the interisland market in late April, but it so far has not announced plans to fly to Hilo International Airport.
Flights from Kona to Honolulu begin Sunday.
Southwest began flying from Honolulu to Oakland, Calif., in March.