Competition on Hawaii flights is getting hotter than the summer sun in Hawaii. That in advance of the next round of new Southwest Hawaii flights being announced, almost certain to occur this month. Hawaii’s bellwether Hawaiian Airlines isn’t taking the competition sitting down. Read on for more on the lead photo too.
New route starts in advance of Southwest entry
Monday, Hawaiian Airlines started flying a new route between Sacramento and Maui. While seemingly not a big deal, it is in the sense that it is known that Southwest will also start flying that route shortly. Alaska Airlines flies that one too, which is seemingly far too much lift for Sacramento. So we’ll have to see who stays and who goes in the next round of what is to be a multi-year battle for dominance in Hawaii air travel. In the interim, travelers on that route will be treated to some of the best fares ever seen.
New Hawaiian Air 787 interiors start with business class makeover
Hawaiian also previewed their new premium seating on the Boeing Dreamliner 787 wide-body aircraft (pictured above), set to be delivered starting in 2021. We don’t know yet what routes will enjoy the new plane, but those are likely to be both international and as well as the longest and most competitive mainland routes. Nonstop to London, here we come.
The company will receive 10 of the aircraft and has an option for an additional 10. Business seating will be by Adient Aerospace, a new joint venture between Boeing and car seat company Adient. Hawaiian is the launch customer for the new company.
The new business seats, or should we say suites, will be in the preferred 1-2-1 arrangement. As an aside, these seats are referred to as first class on domestic flights, and business class on international flights. The center seats are perfect for couples and, when two are travelling together, the privacy screen between suites can be lowered to convert them into a double bed. Hawaiian is still developing the precise suite configuration, which may also include doors before it is all done. We should see more images soon. The seats are being shown for the first time at the 2019 Aircraft Interiors Expo taking place this week in Hamburg, Germany.
The new Adient seats will replace the Optimares branded lie-flat first/business seats in the existing A330-200 fleet. There has been some controversy about those seats and their comfort, design and layout, as may be reflected in this change of manufacturer. Among other concerns, the current A330 seats do not all have direct aisle access and they are in a 2-2-2 configuration.
We have not yet flown on the lie flat A330 seats, but will be doing so later this year (which we did using a mileage upgrade from economy). A complete trip report will follow.
Hawaiian Airlines Dreamliner 787 economy
The reality of economy seating is in stark contrast to that of business/first. Main cabin seating on the new fleet of 10 787 aircraft will be from Collins Aerospace. The Aspire seats are among the industry’s lightest and are designed to maximize seat space, shoulder and hip room, with ergonomically contoured back and arm rests. Hawaiian Air also uses Collins Aerospace economy seats on its Airbus A321neo aircraft. We have found those seats to be quite comfortable as far as economy goes.
“We couldn’t be more pleased for Adient Aerospace and Collins Aerospace to join us in creating a distinctively Hawaiian cabin experience in our future flagship aircraft.” — Avi Mannis, Hawaiian Airlines. “Our guests will enjoy the island-inspired comfort and warm hospitality for which we’re known, while relaxing in seats that represent the cutting edge of innovation in seating technology.”