Say aloha to Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 787 cabins


In November, Hawaiian Airlines is scheduled to receive the first of its 12 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on order, and the interiors look a little special. With its customers travelling primarily for leisure, the airline has opted for a holiday feel, working with Teague to create cabin designs inspired by early Polynesian navigators who sailed the Pacific by observing the stars, sun, winds, waves and wildlife – expressed in the cabins through bold textures, sunrise and sunset lighting, and natural patterns.

The headline feature will be the Leihōkū (garland of stars) suites, a business class that will feel a little more holiday-like. The 34 lie-flat seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration for direct aisle access, doors for privacy, and lowerable partitions in the centre doubles so couples can fall asleep under a starry sky – well, a starlit cabin ceiling.

The Leihōkū suites are a customised version of Adient Aerospace’s Ascent business-class suite. This modular seating system was designed with Acumen Design Associates and first presented at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2018 in Hamburg. The platform became HIC certified, ETSO approved, Sub part G approved and APDOA approved in January 2021.

Accents of deep aqua grace the carpets and privacy dividers in the Leihōkū suites

Hawaiian Airlines was the first customer for the Ascent suite, but Qatar Airways pipped it to the post as the first to put it into operation.

The seat has been made Hawaiian Airlines’ own through a design collaboration with Teague, with features including 18in IFE displays, personal outlets, wireless charging and a custom colour, material and finish (CMF) scheme.

Tony Guy, CEO of Adient Aerospace, said of the project: “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. It is so rewarding to bring this vision collaboratively to life and see it realised in the delivered product.”

Heading aft from the Leihōkū cabin, the remaining 266 seats in Hawaiian’s 300-seat B787s will be Collins Aerospace’s Aspire seats, with ergonomically contoured backrests and arm rests designed to maximise shoulder and hip room, 12in IFE monitors, and USB-A and USB-C charging ports. Of those 266 seats, 79 will be Extra Comfort seats with additional legroom and access to AC outlets.

Collins Aerospace’s Aspire seats have been selected for the B787 Main Cabin

Natural design

Every detail of the airline’s B787 interiors is inspired by Hawaiʻi’s natural beauty, from wall panels depicting native wood grains, to the lavatory floor covering inspired by shimmering black volcanic sand. ‘Ōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language) is also integrated into seat row numbers and other placards to guide guests through the cabin.

Natural woods help create a sense of natural beauty in the cabin

Laminates and fabrics reflect the forms of native plants throughout the cabin. The wind and waves that have shaped the Hawaiian archipelago are expressed through curved forms throughout the entryway and cabin.

Hawaii’s native plants have inspired the textile designs

“Working alongside such an iconic brand in Hawaiian Airlines, we were able to create an experience that is true and authentic to what is Hawai’i,” said Loreto Julian, interior design and surface textile design manager at Teague. “Along the journey, guests will be able to appreciate the culture of Hawai’i and be surprised with discoverable moments.”

Hawaiian is scheduled to receive the first of its 12 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in November, with the remaining deliveries planned through 2027.

A striking lighting feature commissioned for Hawaiian Airlines’ Dreamliners

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About Author


Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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