Revealed: Hawaiian Airlines’ New 787 Business Class

Filed Under: Hawaiian

Last year Hawaiian Airlines placed an order for up to 20 Boeing 787-9 aircraft. The airline placed 10 firm orders, with the option for a further 10. The airline is expected to take delivery of their first 787-9 in early 2021, so we’re still a couple of years off from this.

Many of us have been wondering what kind of a business class product they’ll put on these planes.

Hawaiian Airlines’ current A330 business class

Currently Hawaiian operates a fleet of 717s, A321neos, and A330s. The 717s and A321neos feature fairly standard domestic first class seats.

Meanwhile the airline has flat beds on their A330s, though they sure are in a strange configuration (see my Hawaiian Airlines A330 first class review here). It makes sense that Hawaiian has seats in pairs, given that many people traveling to Hawaii are doing so as couples or families.

Hawaiian Airlines’ new 787 business class

It has now been revealed that Hawaiian Airlines will be the launch customer for the new Ascent Adient Aerospace seat. This is a joint venture between Boeing and Adient, which primarily manufactures automotive seating.

The exact configuration hasn’t yet been revealed, though Hawaiian Airlines has said that they’ve chosen the seat in part because of how customizable it is. So as of now we only know what the “generic” concept looks like, and not the finished product for Hawaiian Airlines.

Hawaiian Airlines has noted that they have very different business class passengers than many other airlines, as noted by FlightGlobal:

“The challenge for us is that we are in a leisure market, and most lie-flat seats are designed for business travellers. Our demographics are very different, with more honeymooners and other couples, and often children.”

So the focus was to find a seat that offered flexibility with partitions that allowed passengers to create private or shared experiences:

“We even looked like the positioning of controls so they were suitable for a wider range of guests. That’s why a new to market product, that we could customise, suited us better.”

Here are some renderings of the new seats:

It would appear that these seats have double beds in the center section, and even have sliding doors! This almost looks to me a bit like Qatar Airways Qsuites.

Bottom line

It’s cool to see Hawaiian Airlines up their game with a new business class product, and this really looks like it has the potential to be spectacular. To me this looks very similar to Qsuites, which is great news.

I’m guessing it’ll be over a year until we actually see how Hawaiian customizes the configuration, but it looks like they’re off to a very good start.

Double beds and doors isn’t something that many were likely expecting from Hawaiian!

  1. Would it be too much to hope that Garuda will equip their A330-900neo with these seemingly awesome seats?

  2. Looks great until some drunk American couple has sex mid-flight in the center section.

  3. Looks like the tables have turned. Virgin Atlantic is about to introduce new suites, and a couple of other airlines have suites on the way. Just yesterday Recaro pushed out a modified version of their CL6710 seat (El Al 787/TAP A330neo), with sliding doors this time. I wouldn’t be surprised if these took airlines by storm, especially with the influx of A330-900neo orders.

    Enclosed suites in business class are the new way to go, and personally, I’m not complaining!

  4. @FNT Delta Diamond man Americans don’t do that kinda stuff. We are sophisticated and proper folk.

  5. 1-2-1 for such a leisure-heavy market caught me by surprise! Was expecting an improved 2-2-2. Do we know yet how many seats will there be?

  6. Odd that they recognize that they’re serving a leisure market and going to substantial effort to configure the seats that way but they still refer to the product as “business class”.

  7. @FNT Delta Diamond

    I think I used to see some Brits doing that, definitely not Americans. I can’t think of a scenario where a John, axe wound, meats and veg, and get stuffed to share a few sentences.

    For those out there considering, I am across the aisle, my Bose QC makes it easier to hear audible words. Don’t be rude, ask for Mile high Threesome??

  8. I think that they’re attempting to stay competitive in the broader TPAC market by offering a 1-2-1 configuration.

    No, it doesn’t necessarily make sense to go 1-2-1 on a purely leisure route (such as to/from HNL), but it is a much more competitive offering for someone like me, who frequently flies J between US-Australia for business. Hawaiian is frequently several thousand cheaper than the direct competition between US-Aus/NZ, but one of the reasons I have never flown with them is the 2/2 configuration on their long-haul routes. I prefer not to be stuck in a seat with little privacy all the way to Australia.

    I think perhaps the 1-2-1 overlooks the obvious leisure travel and aims to grab some more competitive TPAC business. There are worse places for a layover than HNL..

  9. FNT Delta Diamond says: “Looks great until some drunk American couple has sex mid-flight in the center section”

    And who cares if they do. ?

    I have got my noise cancelling earphones with me at all times. Makes no difference whatsoever what the other passengers are doing. LOL

    I may have to give Hawaiian a try. Definitely better than Alaska Air First which is my preferred airline.

  10. @Ralf and @CMORGAN Yes, this definitely is a vast improvement over AS first class. Despite the slow introduction of new seats in first, Alaska’s new product does not even come close to Hawaiian’s proposed offering. Definitely looking at switching airlines when this happens.

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