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Video: Hawaiian Airlines Introduces Starlit Leihōkū Suites on its Boeing 787-9

The new planes will have a revolutionary, all-new cabin interior inspired by the early Polynesian voyages that shaped the Hawaiian culture

by Enrique Perrella

May 15, 2023

Photo: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, Business Class. Courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines is set to revolutionize the world of leisure travel with the introduction of its upcoming Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

The Hawaiian carrier, which has 12 aircraft on order, expects to welcome its inaugural Dreamliner in November.

These new planes will introduce an all-new hard and soft product to the market, offering its customers a dramatic shift with a top-notch new Business Class seat and astonishing levels of detail.

Hello, Leihōkū Suites

As unveiled today by Hawaiian Airlines, the new planes will have a revolutionary, all-new cabin interior. Inspired by the early Polynesian voyages that shaped the Hawaiian culture, the airline unveiled its new Business Class product, Leihōkū Suites (“garland of stars”).

Passengers stepping on board Hawaiian’s factory-fresh Dreamliners will immerse themselves in a cabin design that seamlessly captures the essence of Hawaii’s natural world.

Bold textures, island-inspired sunrise and sunset lighting, and flowing ocean and wind patterns create an atmosphere reminiscent of the stunning island landscapes—all brought to life by renowned Seattle-based studio, Teague.

Photo: Courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

“The combination of our evocative cabin design and unparalleled service will make our 787 the most relaxing and enjoyable choice for travel to and from Hawaiʻi,” said Avi Mannis, chief marketing and communications officer at Hawaiian Airlines.

Photo: Courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

“We take pride in sharing our home with our guests, and the design and details of this product truly reflect what it means to be the flagship carrier of the Hawaiian Islands.”

As noted by The Design Air, the Leihōkū Suites are the heart and soul of this new cabin concept. Comprising 34 suites, these peaceful spaces provide passengers with fully lie-flat seating, accompanied by an 18-inch in-flight entertainment screen, personal outlets, wireless charging, and direct aisle access.

Photo: Courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

The seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration and feature sliding doors, allowing guests to enjoy their privacy or share the experience with a companion.

Even though Hawaiian Airlines was supposed to be the launch customer for this Business Class seat, Qatar Airways became the premier operator because of delivery delays and Hawaiian’s deferment of deliveries of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Economy Class

Even in the Economy Class Cabin, Hawaiian Airlines surprises with enormous detail. Passengers will enjoy a lightweight, modern design that optimizes seat space, providing ample shoulder and hip room.

The cabin boasts 266 Collins Aerospace Aspire seats, carefully designed with ergonomic contours for maximum comfort. The cabin setting for this section is the common 3-3-3 layout.

Each seat is equipped with a 12-inch seat-back monitor, along with USB-A and USB-C charging ports.

Photo: Courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

Unfortunately, passengers seeking a Premium Economy cabin will be disappointed to hear that only 79 Extra Comfort seats will be available for those looking for added space on their journeys to/from Hawaii.

According to the airline, each Economy Class seat will boast 31 inches of pitch, whereas the Extra Comfort seats will offer a more spacious 35 inches pitch.

Each Extra Comfort seat will have power outlets, while the regular Economy Class seats won’t.

Likewise, Hawaiian Airlines will not include Wi-Fi connectivity on its Dreamliners in the initial stage. The airline claims that the priority is to install Starlink connectivity on its current fleet, whereas the new Dreamliners will follow suit “later this year.”

Premier Collaboration with Adient Aerospace

Hawaiian Airlines has raised the bar by partnering with Adient Aerospace, a joint venture between the Boeing Company and Adient, a leading automotive seat manufacturer. This collaboration makes Hawaiian the first airline to work with Adient Aerospace.

Photo: Courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

“It was evident from the beginning that Hawaiian Airlines is very passionate about its culture and branding, and making sure that this came through in the design language and in the passenger experience,” says Trystan Parry, Vice President of Sales and Product Support at Adient Aerospace, remarked.

“The result of this collaborative effort is a delivered product that brings Hawaiian’s vision to life and exceeds expectations.”

Inspired by Hawaiian Heritage

Every aspect of Hawaiian’s 787 pays homage to the remarkable Polynesian navigators who once sailed the vast Pacific, guided by the stars, sun, winds, waves, and wildlife.

To bring this vision to life, Hawaiian collaborated with Teague, ensuring that Pacific navigation is beautifully celebrated within a modern aircraft.

From the Koa-wooden entryway to the intricate shadow prints in the lavatories, the cabin is adorned with design flourishes that evoke the spirit of Hawaii.

Photo: Courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian language signs are scattered throughout the entire aircraft, starting from the seat numbers to the aircraft’s placards. Also, each lavatory is equipped with Hawaiian-themed signage.

The islands’ wonders are seamlessly integrated throughout the cabin, with numerous curved forms inspired by the wind and waves that shaped the Hawaiian archipelago.

Photo: Courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

Lastly, deep aqua accents grace the carpets and privacy dividers in the Leihōkū Suites, immersing passengers in an atmosphere of serenity and elegance. Passengers in these suites will gaze upon a luminous star compass.

Jonny Clark, the founder of The Design Air, believes that the end result of Hawaiian Airlines’ new product “is a perfectly executed cabin that’s filled with surprise and delight moments, excellent new hard products, and a rich brand motif that extends beyond trim and finish.”

“The new Business Class Leihōkū Suites will also see the airline now compete with other international carriers on an equal footing and in some regards – privacy and authentic detailing – much better,” Clark said.

Photo: Courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

The new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will replace the airline’s current fleet of Airbus A330-200 aircraft, with the first plane being delivered in November and the last by 2027.

Hawaiian Airlines currently operates 24 A330s across its network of 20 domestic and 11 international destinations in eight countries.