Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 787s Coming In Late 2023


Hawaiian Airlines is one of the upcoming Boeing 787 customers that I’m most excited about. In this I wanted to take an updated look at Hawaiian’s 787 order, given that these planes will be delivered later this year, and we also now know what the onboard experience will be like.

Hawaiian Airlines’ order for up to 20 Boeing 787-9s

In 2018, Hawaiian Airlines placed an order for the Boeing 787-9 — the airline has a firm order for 12 jets, plus options for a further eight jets.

Initially Hawaiian Airlines was supposed to take delivery of its first Boeing 787 in early 2021, though delivery delays caused that timeline to slip significantly. What’s the latest with that?

As things stand, the airline is expected to take delivery of its first two Dreamliners in late 2023, so that marks a delay of nearly three years. It’s now expected that the first plane will enter passenger service as of early 2024. The delivery schedule will be gradual as well, and it’ll be 2027 at the earliest before all 12 planes are part of Hawaiian Airlines’ fleet.

Interestingly a 787 has been in the full Hawaiian Airlines livery since mid-2021, so by the time it starts flying, the plane will be nearly three years old. Hah.

For context, Hawaiian Airlines’ fleet currently consists of 61 aircraft, including:

  • 24 Airbus A330-200s, which are currently the carrier’s only wide body jets, and they’re used for long haul routes to the mainland and abroad
  • 18 Airbus A321neos, which are all quite new, and which mostly operate flights to the west coast of the United States
  • 19 Boeing 717-200s, which are used exclusively for inter-island Hawaii flights

The Boeing 787 is a very exciting addition to Hawaiian Airlines’ fleet, in terms of capacity, fuel efficiency, and range. As it stands, Hawaiian Airlines intends to initially fly its Boeing 787s to the US mainland (presumably Boston and New York, which are the furthest destinations).

However, over time you can expect the plane to operate international flights as well, presumably to Asia and the South Pacific.

These planes would have the range to fly nonstop to Europe, and while this kind of service has been rumored for a long time, there’s no indication that this will happen. I could only see this happening if Hawaiian Airlines exercises its option for an extra eight Boeing 787s, since 12 planes isn’t a whole lot to work with.

Hawaiian Airlines has a firm order for 12 Boeing 787-9s

Hawaiian Airlines’ new Boeing 787 cabins

Arguably what’s most exciting about Hawaiian Airlines’ new Boeing 787s is the updated interiors that they’ll get. Hawaiian’s Boeing 787s will feature a total of 300 seats, including 34 business class seats and 266 economy class seats.

Hawaiian recently revealed its new business class, which will consist of a customized version of the Adient Aerospace Ascent seat. Initially Hawaiian Airlines was supposed to be the launch customer for this product, though Qatar Airways ended up taking that title with its new Boeing 787-9s.

These seats will be in a 1-2-1 configuration, with privacy doors at each seat. Seats will also have large personal televisions, as well as several charging options, including wireless charging.

Hawaiian Airlines’ new Boeing 787 business class
Hawaiian Airlines’ new Boeing 787 business class

This will represent a huge upgrade for Hawaiian Airlines’ business class product. Hawaiian’s A330s feature fully flat beds in a 2-2-2 configuration.

Hawaiian Airlines’ A330 business class
Hawaiian Airlines’ A330 business class

Admittedly Hawaiian Airlines has a different business class customer profile than most airlines, given that Hawaii is primarily a leisure destination. You have a lot more couples traveling together than on other airlines, so the 2-2-2 configuration kind of makes sense.

Interestingly American Airlines is also planning to install Adient Ascent seats for its upcoming premium Boeing 787s, as the airline looks to refresh its business class seats.

Bottom line

Hawaiian Airlines has a firm order for 12 Boeing 787-9s, which are expected to join the carrier’s fleet as of late 2023. Unfortunately we’re still many months from these jets being delivered, and even then, they’ll only join the carrier’s fleet very gradually. Nonetheless I’m excited about these planes, given the improved efficiency, increased capacity, and new business class.

What do you make of Hawaiian Airlines’ upcoming Boeing 787s?

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