‘Frills’ and ‘No Frills’ – While Hawaiian Airlines is in full roll out mode of its basic economy on North American routes it has launched a new line of sustainable in-flight amenities

24 November, 2019

Hawaiian Airlines has become the latest US airline to debut a basic economy option, and the airline's management remains confident its lowest priced fare tier will deliver on its revenue projections.

The airline launched sales of "Main Cabin Basic" in 3Q2019 on nonstop routes to Hawai'i from Los Angeles, Long Beach and Sacramento, and the roll out across Hawaiian's North American route network continues. Hawaiian's version of basic economy prohibits seat assignments and changes to tickets, and requires passengers purchasing those fares to board last.

"With Main Cabin Basic, we now have the ideal product in our portfolio for those guests who value the lowest possible price for travel and quite importantly, a new competitive tool against other carriers offering basic economy products today," Hawaiian CEO Peter Ingram recently told analysts and investors.

Mr Ingram explained that Hawaiian decided to do a phased roll-out of its basic economy offering, "so that we could do testing and make sure we weren't rolling it out too comprehensively before we had made sure that everything was working in terms of our technology and our process".

For now, Hawaiian is only planning to offer Main Cabin Basic on North American routes. "…that remains our focus right now,", said Mr Ingram. "I think we're going to see how everything works, and then think about whether there are opportunities down the road to consider either Main Cabin Basic, or using some of that technology in other geographies to give us a little more product variety".

Previously, Hawaiian's management has estimated that Main Cabin Basic would generate USD15 million to USD25 million in annual revenue. "…I think that's a pretty solid number for 2020…", Mr Ingram stated. "…We'll have a little bit of a booking curve impact from when we started, and so first quarter [1Q2020]will take a little bit of time to ramp up, but I'm pretty confident with we're at on that", he added.

Meanwhile, the US carrier has teamed up with Moloka'i-based brand Kealopiko to launch a new line of in-flight amenities carrying a message of sustainability, which will debut on international flights from Hawai'i and on select US mainland routes from 26-Nov-2019.

The exclusive collection, adorned with coral and fern patterns that pay homage to Hawai'i's delicate natural resources, reflects the two companies' shared commitment to perpetuate Hawaiian culture, care for the environment and steward island visitors, they explain.

Named 'Ēkaha - the Hawaiian name of black coral representing a thriving coral reef, as well as the bird's nest fern, an indicator of a healthy rainforest - the line alludes to the deep, symbiotic relationship between the land and sea.

Kealopiko was founded by three women passionate about sharing the rich culture of Hawai'i, protecting the environment and operating as an eco-conscious brand. The company's production is done in a small shop on Moloka'i, where organic materials are sustainably dyed, cut and sewn by hand before being sold online or in its downtown Honolulu store. Each of their designs honours indigenous wildlife, language, practices, aliʻi (royalty), kūpuna (elders and ancestors), and moʻolelo (stories and history).

"Embarking on this redesign, we knew we wanted a partner who could help us tell the stories of our island home," says Avi Mannis, senior vice president of marketing at Hawaiian Airlines. "Kealopiko is a natural fit. Their sustainable production and bold, contemporary design align with our values and complement the flight experience we want to offer our guests."

International business class and first class guests to Boston and New York will be given a Hawaiian Airlines-branded canvas clutch, available in two different schemes, with the coral print and a coconut shell button. International guests seated in the airline's extra comfort cabin will receive a natural felt pouch with a wood tag engraved with the 'Ēkaha story.

Both kits will include a bamboo comb; a dental kit including a bamboo toothbrush with charcoal bristles and toothpaste; hand and body balm, lip balm and hydrating mist from the airline's private skincare line Lōli'i; a premium sleep mask; a packet of tissues; and a sample packet of Raw Elements USA reef-safe sunscreen, which Hawaiian, the sun care company's official airline partner, introduced onboard in Apr-2018. The first and business class cutch will also contain a pair of the airline's 'slipper' designed socks and a set of earplugs - international extra comfort passengers will receive earbuds.

Guests seated in Hawaiian's main cabin on international flights, first class on North America red-eye flights, and first class on Papeete and Pago Pago will receive a coral print kraft paper pouch with earplugs, earbuds and a sleep mask in one of three collectible, Hawai'i-inspired designs.

All amenity kits feature eco-friendly paper packaging, furthering Hawaiian's effort to reduce single-use plastics in its fleet and throughout its operations. "Our partnership with Kealopiko advances our company's progress to reduce waste, bring sustainability into our cabin, and encourage our guests to join us in taking care of our environment," adds Mr Mannis.