Hawaiian Airlines Adds New Seating and Service Options

by Barbara Peterson
Hawaiian Airlines Adds New Seating and Service Options

Lie-flat seats in Hawaiian's premium economy class. Photo: Hawaiian Airlines.


Hawaiian Airlines says an increasing number of passengers are paying to sit in premium seats on its long-distance flights across the Pacific, especially since it began offering a premium economy section between coach and business class.

“Our premium economy service has been enormously successful,” Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley said during an appearance at New York’s Wings Club. He added that in both premium economy and business class, the carrier’s paid load factor is virtually the same as it is in its far larger economy class.

That is despite the fact that the airline caters primarily to a leisure clientele, reflecting its long history as Hawaii’s main carrier. However, several trends are driving passenger booking patterns, Dunkerley told Travel Market Report.

First, the carrier has significantly expanded its long-haul route network, adding flights to New Zealand, Australian and other points in the Pacific region.

Second is simply demographics. As baby boomers age, they are more willing to spend extra to sit in comfort on a long-distance trip, he said.

And there is another reason for the airline’s success in getting customers to pay for a premium product. Unlike its legacy airline competitors, the airline has never handed out free upgrades to high-mile fliers. Other airlines have struggled with how to get more paying customers to sit upfront; Delta’s CEO recently admitted that until recently, its paid load factor in first class cabin was around 15 percent, although recent changes in its loyalty programs have boosted that percentage to over 50 percent.

Hawaiian’s premium economy class, which it brands as “extra comfort,” is offered on the airline’s fleet of Airbus A330s. Hawaiian’s other widebody plane, the 767, is being phased out, Dunkerley said, so it wouldn’t make sense to add that newer class of service on those aircraft.

And to further differentiate the two premium products, Hawaii last year began rolling out new lie-flat business class seats on a number of long-haul routes. Most recently, it added the seats on flights from San Francisco to Honolulu and Maui.

The fully reclining seats, configured in a 2-2-2 layout, are part of a larger upgrade of the carrier’s premium class offering, which also features new cuisine and amenity kits. The revamped cabins were already available on flights out of Honolulu to key international destinations, such as Beijing, Tokyo, Sydney, and Auckland, as well as to New York. And this week, Hawaiian Airlines said it will expand its New Zealand service with up to five nonstop flights weekly between Auckland and Honolulu, starting in March.  It currently flies three times a week since launching the service in 2013.

  1
  0
Tip of the Day

As travel advisors, we have to be curious. Curiosity leads to impactful connections that pave our road to success. - Jenn Lee, VP of Sales and Marketing, Travel Planners International

Daily Top List

Top Tips for Your Blog

1. focus on the big picture and long-term ROI.

2. Be consistent with your posts.

3. Get your team or ICs involved.

Source: TMR

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Accredited Space Agent Discusses Selling Travel That’s Truly Out-Of-This-World
Accredited Space Agent Discusses Selling Travel That’s Truly Out-Of-This-World

Jay Johnson, president of Coastline Travel Advisors, shares his experience as one of the only certified agents permitted to sell commercial space travel.

Dominican Republic Announces New Safety Measures
Dominican Republic Announces New Safety Measures

In the wake of unrelenting media attention about American tourist deaths and illnesses, the country is taking steps to strengthen travelers' confidence.

How Facial Recognition Technology is Being Used at Airports
How Facial Recognition Technology is Being Used at Airports

The increased use of facial recognition technology at airports is raising serious concerns about privacy and security for the traveling public.

Charleston Remains at Top of Travel + Leisure’s Best U.S. Destinations
Charleston Remains at Top of Travel + Leisure’s Best U.S. Destinations

A perennial favorite, this American city is full of history, tourist attractions, natural beauty, and authentic southern cuisine. 

Worker Strikes Threaten to Shut Down Summer Travel from London Heathrow Airport
Worker Strikes Threaten to Shut Down Summer Travel from London Heathrow Airport

More than 4,000 airport employees plan to stage a strike in the coming weeks, which could bring London Heathrow to a standstill.

Yucatan Magic, If You Know Where to Find It
Yucatan Magic, If You Know Where to Find It

Find out how the Yucatan offers up the perfect blend of discovery, history, culture, gastronomy, and nature — and why it's on this traveler’s ‘must re-visit' list.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks