Hawaiian Airlines’ first Boeing 787-9 is due in August 2022

The arrival of Hawaiian's Dreamliners will also see the debut of an all-new business class seat.

By David Flynn, October 28 2021
Hawaiian Airlines’ first Boeing 787-9 is due in August 2022

Hawaiian Airlines expects to take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 in August 2022, says president and CEO Peter Ingram, and it’ll be bound for the US mainland.

However, while a second Dreamliner will arrive by year’s end, there will be a gap of 12 months until the remaining eight begin flowing from 2024 onwards.

“The first one is going to be delivered to us in August of next year, we'll have another one by the end of 2022 so we’ll have two in service by the end of 2022 or the very beginning of 2023,” Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram tells Executive Traveller.

“Our plan is to initially fly those to the US mainland, but ultimately we want to put those aeroplanes on long-haul routes where we can really take advantage of the unparalleled fuel efficiency of the aircraft, to places with strong demand and high load factors.”

The Boeing 787-9 will become Hawaiian Airlines' new flagship.
The Boeing 787-9 will become Hawaiian Airlines' new flagship.

While this may well include New Yorkers seeking a tropical getaway – the 11 hour stretch from Gotham’s sidewalks to Honolulu’s beaches certainly qualifies as long-haul – Japan (a perennial source of premium visitors) and Australia are also on Ingram’s radar.

“Sydney certainly fits the bill for that, so I I think it is very possible you’ll see (the Boeing 787-9) in Sydney in the not-too-distant future”, he predicts.

But just how distant will that be?

Ingram says Hawaiian’s delivery schedule will skip 2023. “We had intended to induct our first Dreamliner by the second quarter of 2021; however, the pandemic led us to reschedule the deliveries of our 10 aircraft between the end of 2022 and 2026.”

Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 787 business class

The fuel-efficient Dreamliner will also serve as the launchpad for Hawaiian’s new lie-flat business class seat, designed by Adient Aerospace, which is part owned by Boeing.

Hawaiian Airlines' Boeing 787-9 business class is based on the Ascent suite from Adient Aerospace.
Hawaiian Airlines' Boeing 787-9 business class is based on the Ascent suite from Adient Aerospace.

While the current Airbus A330 seats convert into a flatbed, their 2-2-2 layout and limited personal space is out of step with modern business class expectations.

Hawaiian Airlines' workhorse Airbus A330 business class.
Hawaiian Airlines' workhorse Airbus A330 business class.

The Ascent seat is shown here from Adient’s own photos, and doesn’t reflect any customisation and styling that will be done by Hawaiian to suit its own more tropical palette.

Hawaiian Airlines' new Boeing 787-9 business class moves to a 1-2-1 layout with more space and privacy for every passenger.
Hawaiian Airlines' new Boeing 787-9 business class moves to a 1-2-1 layout with more space and privacy for every passenger.

The 1-2-1 layout affords direct aisle access for every passenger, while there’s also a selection of storage nooks plus some tiered shelving and a very large video screen.

The difference is also in the details on Hawaiian Airlines' new Boeing 787-9 business class.
The difference is also in the details on Hawaiian Airlines' new Boeing 787-9 business class.

While Hawaiian Airlines was supposed to be the launch customer for the Ascent, its decision to delay the Boeing 787-9s plus a need by Qatar Airways to fast-track its own Dreamliners lead to the Gulf carrier being first to fly the Ascent.

Qatar Airways' Boeing 787-9 business class is also based on the Ascent design.
Qatar Airways' Boeing 787-9 business class is also based on the Ascent design.

Qatar optioned up the Ascent with sliding privacy doors and wireless smartphone charging – it’s not known if Hawaiian has ticked those same boxes on the order form.

Qatar Airways' Boeing 787-9 business class cabin.
Qatar Airways' Boeing 787-9 business class cabin.

Also TBA: will Hawaiian’s Dreamliner suites tap the ability to pair the two middle seats into what Adient describes as a “Cabana Suite... where couples can enjoy a movie or meal together”?

It's always more fun to fly with a friend...
It's always more fun to fly with a friend...

What we do know is that Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 787-9s will be crowned by 34 business class suites – one row more than Qatar’s Dreamliners – with 267 economy seats behind the curtain.

Adient and Hawaiian execs with an early prototype of the Ascent seat.
Adient and Hawaiian execs with an early prototype of the Ascent seat.

There’ll be no premium economy cabin, just Hawaiian’s small but popular Extra Comfort section with additional legroom, an amenity kit and early boarding to settle into your seat and make sure you claim the overhead luggage bin.

Also read: Hawaiian Airlines resume flights to Sydney

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jan 2015

Total posts 78

Its certainly a ways off but I do hope they add Melbourne to the roster once they re start Australia whenever that is :)

30 Jun 2020

Total posts 3

A new option to fly to the UK with a few days in Hawaii is a great option! Hopefully something that comes to fruition with the arrival of the new jets. 

It’s a nice destination to break up the journey with the Honolulu to London route less in distance than Syd-Lax. Although I have no experience with Honolulu’s airport, but I’m assuming much smoother than an US west coast airport. 

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 118

@Doberman. Honolulu airport is really old and showing its age. Think 60's ugly Brutalist architecture in concrete and you get the idea. Inside can be described as drab with odd touches of colour, but showing its age. Good for nostalgia if you want to see what a 60's airport was like, but really nothing else to recommend about it. Delta's lounge is small and quite basic. Hawaiian's Flagship Plumeria lounge is more inviting and a better place to kill time than the public areas, but still somewhat lacking in facilities and catering is limited to packaged snacks like biscuits and chips.

To get to your gate, you walk along open air walkways. It's fantastic for catching a breeze (if there's a breeze), but otherwise it's a sweat-inducing walk. So yeah, Honolulu airport is really not much fun, mostly. The only good news is that the new 'Mauka' concourse just opened in August, and added an extra six gates for widebody aircraft (or eleven single aisle aircraft). In there, at least you'll sit in new, clean and air-conditioned comfort waiting for your flight. I pray to the gods that my future flights are only from that new concourse!!

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

05 Nov 2014

Total posts 60

The new Business Class seats are arguably a bit over the top for their market.

On their North American routes (and against Jetstar) they compete against Premium Economy seats marketed as “First Class” and “Business Class” respectively.

You can usually buy Hawaiian business class return fares from Australia for around $3,400. I’m not sure that there is a market for a more spacious but also more expensive product.

21 Apr 2019

Total posts 16

No Prrmium economy seems odd as it is the largest growing market. We tried their extra space seats and it was horrid. Also the meanest awful catering in 50 years of flying.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 141

The majority of U.S. carriers' lounges within the U.S.A. limit food offerings to packaged snacks. Only the first one or two drinks are free. The toilets are often not in the lounge. Most of these lounges are combined domestic/international, so don't expect any more prior to a long-haul flight. Makes Qantas and Virgin lounges look pretty good eh?


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