Hawaiian Airlines expects to take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 in September 2022, the airline confirmed today as part of its report on financial results for the third quarter of 2020.
The US carrier has ten Dreamliners on order, and previously intended deliveries to begin in early 2021 stretching through to 2025, but this month "reached an agreement with Boeing to push back the timing of 787-9 deliveries."
In this morning's update, Hawaiian Airlines said it now "expects to take delivery of 787-9 aircraft from 2022 to 2026 with its first aircraft to be delivered in September 2022."
In July, airline president and CEO Peter Ingram flagged talks with Boeing to “re-pace” the delivery of those Dreamliners in light of reduced demand and cash constraints due to “the continued impact of COVID-19 and State of Hawai'i quarantines on our business.”
At the time, Ingram said that while the discussions were "not finalised, we do not expect to put the first two 787s into service until 2022 or 2023."
New seats, new routes
Once those Boeing 787-9s arrive they could also help Hawaiian forge new non-stop routes. “The Boeing 787 gives us many interesting possibilities such as London and Perth,” Ingram has previously remarked.
The fuel-efficient Dreamliner will serve as the launchpad for Hawaiian’s new lie-flat business class seat, designed by Adient Aerospace, which is part owned by Boeing.
The Ascent seat offers a fully-flat bed with a 1-2-1 layout for direct aisle accesss, plus a selection of storage nooks and tiered shelving.
This is an evolved version of Adient’s original Ascent business class seat concept, as shown below.
The customisable Ascent can come with or without privacy doors, as well as wireless device charging – Hawaiian hasn’t revealed if it ticked those boxes on the order form.
A panel between the middle seats can however be lowered, even if the beds run at angles to one another rather than snugly side by side.
Hawaiian Airlines will also be styling the Ascent to suit its own more tropical palette.
While Hawaiian Airlines will be Adient’s launch customer for the Ascent, the seat maker is also shopping around its new Aspect business class design, which brings a fully flat bed and direct aisle access to single-aisle jets, which are expected to become more popular in the post-pandemic travel era.
“As the market returns we think it only accelerates that [shift] and points towards narrow-body aircraft becoming very prevalent in future,” Adient Aerospace CEO Andy Masson notes.