Yesterday on social media the Hawaiian Air A321neo cabin was unveiled to the world. Take a look at the latest evolution of the Airline’s hard product.
Hawaiian Air’s A321neo
The first of Hawaiian Air’s 18 A321neos will be arriving later this year, and with them, a new cabin design. These A321neos will be the airline’s first narrow body, long haul aircraft, and are slated to replace the Airline’s aging fleet of Boeing 767-300ERs.
Hawaiian’s A321neo will be configured with 3 classes, much like the Airline’s A330 fleet. Unlike the A330s, though, there will be no lie-flat seats up front. Instead, the A321neos will be equipped with 16 First Class, 45 Extra Comfort, and 128 Economy Class seats.
The cabin design of the A321neos are said to be an evolution of Hawaiian’s current design. Hawaiian claims they drew inspiration from kapa (bark cloth), traditional fishing nets, and the geography and natural elements of Hawaii.
Thankfully it isn’t just the cabin design Hawaiian is improving, they’re improving passenger amenities too. However, rather than outfit their aircraft with heavy in-flight entertainment systems, they’re following the industry trend of offering wifi-based streaming services instead. And to make using your own device easier, each seat will be fitted with a tablet (or phone) holder.
No matter how hard you look, though, you won’t see any power outlets in the back of the plane. Economy passengers will have in-seat power, but this will come only in the form of a powered USB port. In this case, I’m hoping Hawaiian will at least future-proof the USB ports, as those currently found on their A330s can’t quite charge iPads. But, if you’re sitting in Extra Comfort or First, universal AC outlets will be provided.
Hawaiian states that improvements have also been made to the overhead bins. The airline claims they’ll be using “pivot-style” overhead bins that afford passengers more space.
My Thoughts on the Hawaiian Air A321neo Cabin
The new cabin design looks really sharp. I know it won’t look quite the same in-person, but I like the new design much better than the current ones. And while I like Alaska Air clean, sleek new cabin design, I’d argue that Hawaiian’s is much more interesting.
If you really look at the seats, though, they’re identical to those currently found on American’s fleet. The A321neos First Class seats, for example, are the same seats American is using for its international Premium Economy, minus the footrest. And the seats in back are all identical. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. While slimline seats do suck, I find that the economy seats onboard American’s A321s are more comfortable than those on Hawaiian’s A330s.
While I know some of you are probably lamenting the absence of lie-flat seats upfront, this isn’t really a deal killer to me. I’m assuming the longest flights these aircraft will be operated on will be 6 hours (West Coast/South Pacific to Hawaii). Yes, it would be a nice-to-have, but it isn’t absolutely necessary.
Of course the big question is what routes will these aircraft be operated on? Well, Hawaiian states that the A321neo fleet will be replacing its 767 fleet. But there are far more A321s being added than 767s being retired. So, I think its safe to assume that these aircraft will be used on current 767 routes and/or routes with low loads. They could also be used to open up more destinations along the West Coast too. But these are just my guesses… We’ll have to wait to see what Hawaiian plans to do with its new fleet.