DALLAS — Hawaiian Airlines (HA), the airline of Hawaii since 1929, has unveiled its new premium service, the Leihōkū Suites, and the interior of its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which was inspired by early Polynesian voyages.
The aircraft, set to operate on select routes starting early next year, offers an immersive cabin experience that features island-inspired sunrise and sunset lighting, ocean and wind patterns, and textures that evoke Hawaii’s natural world.
As per a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), HA placed an order for two more Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners at the start of the year and delayed the delivery of ten aircraft that were already on order. At the time, the airline was preparing to expand its fleet in anticipation of increased demand in 2023 and to compete with United Airlines (UA), which has more flights to the Islands, albeit during peak summer months.
Hawaiian flies the Airbus A321neo from the West Coast to Hawaii. The type has good economics with its lower fuel consumption and premium seating. HA’s longer-range aircraft, the Airbus A330, has a larger premium cabin. Enter the Boeing 787-9, which burns less fuel and has a global range.
Avi Mannis, Hawaiian Airlines’ Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, said that the airline took pride in sharing its home with guests and that the combination of the new cabin design and exceptional service made the Dreamliner “the most enjoyable choice for travel to and from Hawaii.”
The 300-seat Boeing 787 boasts 34 Leihōkū Suites that come in a 1-2-1 configuration with doors, allowing guests to enjoy privacy or a shared experience.
These suites are equipped with lie-flat seating, 18-inch in-flight entertainment (IFE) screens, personal outlets, wireless charging, and direct aisle access. In developing the Leihōkū Suite, HA became the first airline to partner with Adient Aerospace, which is a joint venture between Adient, an automotive seat manufacturer, and Boeing.
The carrier’s 787 Dreamliner Main Cabin comprises 266 Collins Aerospace Aspire seats with ergonomically contoured back and armrests, featuring a lightweight, modern design that maximizes seat space and offers more shoulder and hip room. It also has a 12-inch seatback monitor with USB-A and USB-C charging ports.
The airline also offers 79 Extra Comfort seats, providing more legroom and access to AC outlets. Each design element in Hawaiian’s 787 pays homage to Polynesian navigators who sailed the Pacific by observing the stars, sun, winds, waves, and wildlife. HA collaborated with the design consultant Teague to realize its vision of honoring Pacific navigation in a modern aircraft.
The Boeing 787 also offers enhanced cabin air filtration and a lower cabin altitude, providing a more comfortable flight. It also has a quiet cabin due to acoustic-treated engine inlets, extra-large dimmable windows, spacious overhead bins, and lavatory toilets and faucets with touchless activation.
Efficiency and Confort
The Dreamliner is the most fuel-efficient widebody aircraft in HA’s fleet, thanks to its lightweight structure, innovative aerodynamics, and modern General Electric GEnx engines.
The aircraft’s simulated cabin sky depicts soft daylight, soothing sunrises, and sunsets, or dramatic starry evening skies, while guests in Leihōkū Suites can gaze up at a luminous star compass ceiling evoking the constellations that guided Polynesian voyagers at night.
Every detail of the new cabin pays homage to Hawaii, from wall panels depicting native wood grains to the lavatory floor inspired by shimmering black volcanic sand.
‘Ōlelo Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian language, is also integrated into seat row numbers and other placards to guide guests through the cabin as they embark on their journey. Hawaiian Airlines is set to receive the first of 12 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in November, with remaining deliveries planned through 2027.
Featured image: Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 787-9 concept. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines