Hawaiian Airlines’s New First-Class Cabins Are Islands Unto Themselves

  • Mary Grady

Starting in mid-2016, the Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 passenger jets will feature lie-flat seating and luxury design elements. The premium-class cabins, developed in partnership with Italian design firm Optimares, aim to evoke “an engaging, bold, contemporary sense of Hawaii,” says airline CEO Mark Dunkerley. The seats are based on an innovative new seat platform that transforms into 76-inch-long, fully flat beds. Arrayed in a 2-2-2 configuration, the seats will provide options for both privacy and a shared in-flight experience. Advanced entertainment offerings will include large-format tablets and telescoping tablet arms that can be adjusted to the optimal viewing angle. Hawaiian Airlines also worked with West Coast–based design consultant Paul Wylde to incorporate the natural colors and forms of the island landscape into the cabin design. The cabin’s flowing curves, for instance, aim to evoke the winds and ocean of the island nation. “Everything we did, we wanted to encourage a human connection between crew and the guests that they’re serving,” said Wylde. “And we tried to bring the magic of modern Hawai’i into the cabin—all the richness and the color, for all of the guests to enjoy.” The airline plans to offer the new seating options on all 23 aircraft in its A330 fleet by the end of 2017. Eighteen of the new luxury seats will be installed in each of the planes. (www.hawaiianairlines.com)

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