Hawaiian Airlines delays Boeing 787-9s to late 2023

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

By David Flynn, January 27 2022
Hawaiian Airlines delays Boeing 787-9s to late 2023

Hawaiian Airlines now expects to take delivery of its first Boeing 787-9s in the second half of 2023, marking a second delay for the Dreamliners, which were initially due in 2021 and then in the third quarter of this year.

However, the revised schedule may also mean a faster ramp-up for the jets, as Hawaiian previously expected a gap of 12 months between the first two Boeing 787s arriving in late 2022 and the remaining eight from 2024 onwards.

“Our two 787s that were scheduled to be delivered in 2022 are delayed, and we now expect to receive them no earlier than the first half of 2023," Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram revealed during a media call following the airline’s full-year 2021 results on Tuesday.

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

Speaking with Executive Traveller in October 2021, Ingram noted “the pandemic led us to reschedule the deliveries of our 10 aircraft between the end of 2022 and 2026.”

“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.”

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.

Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 787 business class

The Dreamliners will also serve as the launchpad for Hawaiian’s new lie-flat business class seat, with almost twice as many berths compared to the current Airbus A330s.

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

“If you think about how we’re laying out our 787, which is the next airplane that’s entering our fleet, we have designed our cabin on that airplane with a larger premium section,” Ingram notes.

Adient Aerospace's Ascent seat has been chosen by Hawaiian Airlines for its new Boeing 787 business class.
Adient Aerospace's Ascent seat has been chosen by Hawaiian Airlines for its new Boeing 787 business class.

Executive Traveller understands that Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 787-9s will be crowned by 34 business class suite; the airline’s Airbus A330s sport 18 angled seats, arranged in three rows of 2-2-2, in what it calls its Premium Cabin.

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

By comparison, the flatbed Dreamliner seats – based on the Ascent model from Adient Aerospace, which is part owned by Boeing – will adopt a 1-2-1 layout, with four berths per row.

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 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.

Adient Aerospace's Ascent seat has been chosen by Hawaiian Airlines for its new Boeing 787 business class.
Adient Aerospace's Ascent seat has been chosen by Hawaiian Airlines for its new Boeing 787 business class.

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...

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jan 2015

Total posts 77

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 4

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 125

@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 19

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 151

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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