We were lucky today to be given an exclusive tour of one Hawaiian Airlines‘ two new A330 aircraft, parked at the gate at Honolulu airport. Just a few weeks old the latest aircraft to join the fleet, Keoe, showcases the brand new interior that will soon be introduced to the entire A330 fleet.
Set to be complete by the summer, August 1st 2014, the rollout will feature the all new Extra Comfort product, boasting a wonderful 36″ seat pitch.
We flew on Hawaiian recently, and whilst we adore the Pualani on the tail of the aircraft, and the livery, the interiors mirrored the more traditional carriers, with a wash of blue carpets and seats. So when we heard about the new interior concept we couldn’t wait to ring the changes.
The biggest change for the entire cabin is the change of carpet, which mirrors the new trend of ‘returning to the roots’ of airlines. Whilst Fiji Airways has introduced the Masi print to their aircraft, and `Ohana by Hawaiian showcases the traditional wood block designs found in the Hawaiian islands, parent airline, Hawaiian, has followed suit by earthing the airline with a wonderful repeating graphic pattern in earth tones.
Hawaiian have helped reveal the complicated story woven into the carpet. “In the materials, colors and patterns, the design flows from the mountains to the shoreline to the ocean. Simply moving through the cabin connects our guests to the essential elements of Hawaii. Storytelling is reinforced through the pattern and color selection of the interior carpet.”
The symbols represent a journey of earth, ocean and sky:
· Po is the realm of the gods
· Hoku are the stars by which ancient Hawaiians navigated.
· Ao are the clouds.
· Manu is the bird, which in this context, represents the aircraft.
· Kanaka are people and families.
· Wa’a, or canoe, represents travel.
· Kai is ocean.
· Aina is the land.
Whilst the toilets haven’t changed, the mesh curtains have calmed down to a grey-blue separating First Class from the rest of the cabin and the removal of the bulkhead between the first class and the economy comfort seats means that the first three rows of the aircraft have been able to gain the extra legroom, meaning there are now 5 rows of extra legroom seats. With 11 C and 11 F having the best legroom by far due to the configuration of the seats.
Also a nice new touch is the new IFE system throughout all three cabins, which whilst still a touch-screen product, is super thin, meaning less weight for the aircraft and also the removal of the IFE boxes under the seats.
The first class cabin, which has been designed to represent ‘Earth’ is now furnished in tan and brown leather seats with stitch details. They are finished off with dark wooden arm-rest trays. The seats are identical to the seats currently offered throughout the fleet offering the same 46″ seat pitch, but the new designs are more sophisticated and help accentuate further the difference between the first class and economy cabins.
The cabin is obviously super clean and the touch of the sky blue accessories help add a splash of colour to help lift the cabin with some ‘Aloha’ spirit (Although we would have loved to have seen the tray tables veneered in the same wood used on the armrests).
We did ask about the seats, which are ‘American standard’ first class seats, and whether Hawaiian Airlines will ever introduce lie flat or even flatbed seats, considering the increase of their long haul flights. According to Hawaiian, this is being considered, but there are no immediate plans to introduce this in either their A330 or A321Neo aircraft. Perhaps expect these in their A350XWB flights when they get delivered, which are better suited to the extra-long haul flights.
This is the newest product for Hawaiian, which is the standard economy seats (with the brand new IFE product) situated within a mini-section in the forward section of the aircraft. (and also the 2 bulk-head rows in the main cabin) The Extra comfort section symbolises the ‘Ocean’ and offer a linear graphic on the seats representing a very calm sea in light blue shades.
The best row within all of the 40 seats, is definitely row 11, the first row of the economy section with its infinite legroom. That said, rows 12 and 13 still offer a healthy amount of space, and perfect for some of the red-eye flights that the aircraft operates. Domestic flights over the seats at $60 and international flights are priced at $100 and most likely worth the extra money.
The coach cabin is meant to represent the ‘Sky’ whose graphic pattern on the seats represents the clouds and blowing wind. The graphic is beautiful and has a very subtle repeat. This pattern is subtle, and more a refresh than a redesign, but the seats recline a fair distance, the new IFE which is faster and more responsive is an upgrade and obviously the lack of IFE power units below the seats mean more seat comfort for every passenger.
All in all, we are impressed with the new look of the interiors. The new cabin is obviously more a refresh than a redesign, but it’s the attention to detail we love here and the passion in trying to create the best possible product. The new look aligns the two brands, (both `Ohana and Hawaiian) making them a truly ‘Hawaiian’ airline experience for their passengers.
For now the aircraft can mainly be found operating LAX-HNL route but as the cabins get refreshed, see it appearing on more and more A330 destinations.