Hawaiian Airlines had previously ordered 18 Airbus A321neos. They planned that this aircraft would replace part of their ageing 767 fleet. For the longest time, Hawaiian has been the only airline consistently flying wide body aircraft to the US. With the introduction of the A321neos, we can see them transitioning to a more competitive strategy. With their recently remodeled A330s, which now have lie flat seats, the airline can offer the best product to Hawaii.
New Hawaiian A321 Interiors
The airline has recently announced the configuration of their A321neos. The aircraft will have 16 first class seats, and 173 economy seats, of which 45 will be extra legroom seats. The airline has decided to install fairly standard seats, and they will not offer personal IFE. I can imagine that for First class passengers, they will offer iPads or tablets. Assuming they install international wifi on their A321s, this should not be a major issue. This has been a trend seen recently in other airlines. American ditched seatback IFE on their new 737MAX.
The airlines first class product looks very similar to that which is offered by American Airlines on their A321 Sharklet aircraft. The main difference is probably the lack of IFE. Their economy cabin will be in a 3-3 configuration.
Flying with Hawaiian
Hawaiian has always been known to add their own flair to the flying experience. Unfortunately, you cannot earn miles on the legacy carriers by flying Hawaiian from the US to Hawaii, but you can earn miles for intra-Hawaii flights. The airline is a partner of Membership Rewards by American Express, so you can redeem points for flights on them.
I believe that adding the A321s will allow Hawaiian to expand their fleet strategy and andd more destinations. Hopefully, this allows them to add more destinations. Some destinations that were flown by Aloha Airlines are Reno and Sacramento. The aircraft interiors leave much to be desired however. In economy, I would rather fly on a wide body 2-4-2 than on a narrow body 3-3. The size factor adds to comfort, in my opinion. The lack of IFE is a hit to my favorite in flight programing: the moving map. I love the moving maps, and the lack of these is unfortunate.
The biggest win I see with the A321 is the new “premium heavy” option. Their A330s offer only 18 first class seats, while the much smaller A321 offers 16. If you were looking to upgrade, this offers a great chance at it. I hope to try Hawaiian soon, and hopefully try out all their aircraft types.
What do you think? Do you like Hawaiian’s new A321 interiors? Would you prefer to fly their old A330s or their new A321s?