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Southwest Airlines Co. and air-safety regulators are scrambling to complete work that would allow the carrier to begin service between California and Hawaii, scheduling eight government-supervised flights but the shutdown was looming

The unusually tight timeline, spelled out in federal documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, partly reflects the desire to minimize the impact from a possible second partial federal government shutdown by the middle of the month. The White House and congressional negotiators are working under a Feb. 15 funding deadline, though industry and government officials said some of the flights are slated to occur a few days past that date.

Under the most optimistic scenario, these officials said, Southwest could start regular service for passengers across the Pacific from the West Coast by April. The timing depends on whether the designated flights without passengers are completed successfully and on time, as well as when the low-fare carrier opts to put tickets on sale.

Limited service flown by senior pilots or managers could begin in March, according to industry officials.

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This is an excerpt from the Wall St. Journal

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