HAMBURG—Hawaiian Airlines is revamping cabin interiors across the bulk of its fleet. The airline is expecting its first Airbus A321neos to arrive in the fourth quarter, and its A330 retrofit program is well underway.

“A little under half our A330 fleet has been retrofitted with the new cabins,” said Avi Mannis, Hawaiian Airlines’ senior vice president of marketing. The new A330 cabins include 18 flat beds in first class, and 68 premium economy seats compared with 40 previously. The new cabin has a total of 278 seats, compared with 297 in the old configuration.

The airline expects to receive three A321neos in the fourth quarter, and to start operating them in early 2018. Deliveries were originally due to begin in July, but production problems with the Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan (GTF) engines have caused delays. Hawaiian wants to use the A321neos on routes from the western United States to Hawaii, Mannis said.

The new cabin design includes elements connected to Hawaii. These include abstract patterns of the islands on its economy seat covers, and wave-like stitching. “It’s hospitality-inspired, with threads of Hawaii,” said Tim Manson, Design Director of JPA Design. The firm worked with Hawaiian to design the new cabins. “There’s a design language consistency between all Hawaiian Airlines products,” Manson said.

Given the carrier’s leisure focus, the design team opted for warm tones, rather than the grays and blues that would evoke a more-corporate image.

Both executives spoke on the sidelines of the Passenger Experience Conference, part of the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo here.
JPA Design and Hawaiian worked to give passengers a long-haul style experience on a narrowbody aircraft. For example, the A321neo features two lavatories midway through the cabin, which  allows passengers to move around during inflight meal service, Manson said.

Eight more of the aircraft should enter the Hawaiian fleet in 2018, followed by six in 2019 and one more in 2020. This would complete Hawaiian’s 18-aircraft order, Mannis said. By that stage, the airline should have phased out its Boeing 767s.

Hawaiian currently operates a fleet of 54 aircraft: 23 Airbus A330s; three ATR-500s; 20 Boeing 717s; and eight Boeing 767s.

Hawaiian is looking to add connectivity to its fleet but, “We have not yet settled on a service that provides enough bandwidth across the Pacific,” Mannis said. “We’re not convinced we have found exactly the right thing.  Being a leisure-focused carrier gives Hawaiian “a bit of a reprieve” from connectivity, he added.