Hawaiian Airlines has revealed details of the planned makeover of its A330 fleet, including a new Premium (business class) Cabin with lie-flat seats and the addition of more “Extra Comfort” (premium economy) seats with more legroom than regular economy.
The new Premium Cabin will still have 18 seats, as Hawaiian’s Business/First cabin has now. But the new seats will recline into beds that lie flat, featuring 20.5-inch width and 76-inch length. They’ll be in a 2-2-2 configuration, offering “intuitive” seat controls as well as two USB ports and one A/C power outlet for each seat.
Those seat controls include a new “reclining wheel” that passengers can use to set the exact amount of recline they like, up to 180 degrees.
“An advanced in-flight entertainment system is powered by the next generation of large-format tablets resting on an adjustable telescoping arm for optimal viewing angle and comfort,” Hawaiian said. You can see more about the new Premium Cabin here.
In the past, Hawaiian was primarily a West Coast – Hawaii operation. But recently Hawaiian has added new nonstops to New York (10 hours) and is building up at a transpacific powerhouse with flights between its Honolulu hub and biz travel destinations in Australia, China, Japan, Korea and New Zealand. To compete in these long-haul markets, it needs a lie-flat seat up front.
Meanwhile, the A330’s Extra Comfort (premium economy) section will get an additional 28 seats, for a total of 68. Main cabin seating will be reduced from 236 to 192. Extra Comfort seats provide 36 inches of pitch, and purchasers also get priority boarding, complimentary on-demand entertainment and a power outlet. Hawaiian said seat pitch in the standard economy will still be 31 inches on the reconfigured planes.
Today, Hawaiian’s A330’s seat 294 passengers, with 18 in Business/First Class, 40 in Extra Comfort and 236 in economy. See our Trip Report of Hawaiian’s A330 flight between SFO and HNL. The new configuration will have fewer (278) seats overall: 18 in Business/Premium Class, 68 in Extra Comfort and 192 in the economy.
The airline said the first newly configured A330 will start flying in West Coast-Hawaii service during June, but it won’t say where. “Sales for the Premium Cabin are expected to commence in the fall, when the first dedicated routes will be revealed along with new signature service elements and a host of new amenities,” the company said. The overhaul of its A330 fleet is expected to be completed by early 2018.
Hawaiian is not part of any of the big three global airline alliances, but it maintains partnership agreements with seven airlines (including JetBlue and Virgin America, but no longer with American), which allow members of frequent flyer programs to earn and burn miles on Hawaiian flights.
It’s increasingly unlikely that we’ll see Hawaiian’s lie-flat seats on the West Coast over the long term because the carrier will soon begin to deploy its newest 190-seat Airbus A321 on these shorter routes where a lie-flat seat is likely superfluous.
Have you flown Hawaiian Air? What did you think? Would you consider it for a transpacific trip? Please leave comments below.
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