Hawaiian Airlines takes delivery of first Dreamliner

300-seat 787-9 to conduct familiarisation flights before 15 May 2024 public debut

Hawaiian Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner which arrived in Honolulu late last week. The Honolulu-based airline has a dozen 787-9s on order with Boeing, with a further two expected to join the carrier’s fleet in 2024.

The 300-seat aircraft features Hawaiian’s newest premium product, the Leihōkū (garland of stars) Suites: 34 suites that envelop guests in a tranquil space with lie-flat seating, an 18-inch in-flight entertainment screen, personal power outlets, wireless mobile phone charging and direct aisle access. Set in a 1-2-1 configuration, the suites offer privacy or a shared experience with combinable double suites that allow couples to fall asleep while gazing at a starlit ceiling.

From the look and feel of its interior to its naming, nearly every element of Hawaiian’s 787-9 fleet celebrates early Polynesian navigators who sailed the Pacific by observing the stars, sun, winds, waves and wildlife. The airline worked with design consultant Teague to realize its vision of honouring Hawaiian culture and voyaging in a modern airplane.

Hulst and Ingram during the welcoming ceremony for Hawaiianʻs first Boeing 787-9.

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During his welcome remarks, Peter Ingram, President and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, said: “This day has been a long time coming – in fact, today marks almost six years to the date when we first announced our investment in the 787-9 as the new flagship fleet for our company.

“Ultimately, the 787-9 is more than just a new aircraft. It represents an exciting growth phase for our company as we build on our 95 years of service and connect more people with aloha. I am excited for you to be among the first to see it, and even more excited for our employees to see it for the first time along with their ‘ohana. They have waited a long time for this special day.”

Darren Hulst, Vice President of Commercial Marketing at Boeing said: “From the moment you step onboard, you’ll see that the Hawaiian culture is woven into the design of this 787 Dreamliner. It immediately connects passengers to the beauty of the islands. It’s an honour to know this airplane will bring Hawai’i to the world for years to come.”

Darren Hulst, VPof Commercial Marketing at Boeing (second from left), pictured with Peter Ingram, President and CE, Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO and flight crew.

Hawaiian and Boeing’s leadership joined employees and local dignitaries at the Charles I. Elliott Maintenance and Cargo Facility in Honolulu to induct “N781HA” with a special welcome and blessing

Over 1,500 employees and their guests joined festivities which included live music and guided tours to experience the 787-9 for the first time.

As is customary for every aircraft in Hawaiian’s fleet, each aircraft is given a culturally significant name. In the case of the airline’s long-haul, widebody fleet, these names come from stars and constellations used in the traditions of Polynesian navigators. This morning, N781HA’s official name, Kapuahi, was unveiled during the welcoming ceremony.

Kapuahi is a red giant star known as Aldebaran in Western astronomy. It is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus and appears in the Pacific sky alongside Makali’i, a celestial cluster of great importance in Hawaiian storytelling, wayfinding and agriculture.

Over the next two months, Hawaiian will conduct familiarisation flights between its Hawaiʻi and North America stations. Kapuahi will debut to passengers on 15 April when it will begin operating the carrier’s nonstop, daily Honolulu-San Francisco service, and later be joined by N780HA, which is scheduled to be delivered and named next month. Together, the airplanes will operate Hawaiian’s Honolulu-Los Angeles (HA3) service, starting 15 May and Honolulu-Phoenix flights, beginning 16 May.

Hawaiian will become the world’s first major carrier to deploy Starlink Wi-Fi, and is preparing to join Alaska Airlines and celebrate its 95th anniversary in November.

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