Skift Take

It's a beautiful seat that will be popular with passengers. It's also both classy and smart of Hawaiian to give new suppliers a chance to earn their business, at a time when larger industry suppliers are overwhelmed by orders.

Hawaiian Airlines has revealed a luxury upgrade to its A330 premium cabins, with the introduction of bespoke lie-flat seats from Italian independent aircraft seat manufacturer Optimares.

“We have designed an experience that will usher in a new era in premium service to Hawaii, one that resulted from a thorough review of guest feedback and intensive research to develop a best-in-class product for our long haul aircraft,” said Mark Dunkerley, President and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines.

“Together with our partners at Optimares and PaulWylde, we have created a truly bespoke design that delivers world-class comfort and style, while staying true to our island roots. Whether traveling for business, with family or on a romantic retreat, the new premium cabin evokes an engaging bold, contemporary sense of Hawaii, complemented by the warm aloha spirit of our cabin crew. We’re creating an environment of tranquility and comfort in the air.”

The new premium seats fold into 76-inch beds, maximizing living space for travelers and ensuring couples can enjoy the journey together. Singles can use a decorative privacy screen, which complements the rich island-inspired design of the new seat, to get the alone-time they need.

The seat also includes a telescoping large-format in-flight entertainment console which can be adjusted for optimal viewing angle.

“The new premium class product implemented exclusively for Hawaiian Airlines by Optimares has been developed around a clear strategic vision shared between the teams,” said Alessandro Braca, CEO of Optimares. “The product has been created for the unique needs and expectations of the Hawaiian Airlines guest, combining high-tech solutions and a truly innovative design.”

Optimares is an independent seat supplier, which was first introduced to the industry in 2010. The firm specializes in highly stylized, futuristic, and passenger-centric seating concepts. Optimares has previously worked with design firms Factorydesign, UK and Acumen UK to develop innovative seat proposals for Economy  and Premium seats, focused on smart utilization of cabin space while making ample room for passenger comfort.

The new Hawaiian premium seat was developed in collaboration with West Coast-based brand and design consultancy PaulWylde, which has previously worked with Hawaiian Airlines on the redesign of its Boeing 717 Economy cabin, in which the airline introduced seats from another aircraft seating independent: Acro, UK.

“There’s an undeniable magic to Hawaiian. The airline has such a rich culture and romantic brand identity that stands out from other airlines with distinction,” said Paul Wylde, founder, CEO and creative director “It’s a designer’s dream to be able to translate this brand expression into the modern aircraft cabin environment. Our challenge was to balance a modern, stylish and premium aesthetic that’s increasingly expected from guests with the unique authenticity, culture and color of Hawaii – a destination that many compare to paradise.”

The Hawaiian Airlines new premium seat carries over the airline’s distinctive design language, inspired by the colors and shapes of the island landscape to the seat. The seat is entirely unique to Hawaiian Airlines, incorporating flowing curves, organic textures, pops of bright color among rich neutral tones. It was designed both for passenger comfort and clear brand differentiation.

Luxury Italian leather supplier Paltrona Frau, which has previously partnered with Optimares, features in the rich trim of this bespoke seat.

The new premium cabins are arranged in a 2-2-2 cabin configuration which, the airline says, is ideally suited for couples and families traveling to the Hawaiian Islands.

Premium Economy Additions

The airline has also announced that it will increase the number of Extra Comfort seats on the A330 aircraft, responding to customer preferences for the product. Extra Comfort seating offers a 36-inch pitch, priority boarding, on-demand in-seat entertainment, and a personal power outlet.

Adding more premium and Extra Comfort seats, Hawaiian will lower the density of its A330 cabin lay-out from a total of 294 passengers to 278 passengers. There will be 18 seats in Business/First Class, 68 in Extra Comfort (up from 40), and 192 passengers in the main cabin (down from 236). All passengers in the main cabin get 31-inches of legroom.

The first Hawaiian Airlines aircraft featuring the new seats and new cabin configuration will enter service on the airline’s long-haul network in the second quarter of 2016. Hawaiian will install the new lie-flat seats in its remaining 22 A330 aircraft in September of 2016 through 2017.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: airbus, hawaiian airlines, paxex

Photo credit: Hawaiian Airlines' New Premium cabin featuring seats by Italian aircraft seating company Optimares and designed by Paul Wylde design. Hawaiian Airlines

Up Next

Loading next stories