Hawaiian Airlines 28.01.16

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Seattle-based designer Paul Wylde talks about the importance of branding and its close ties with cabin design

Paul Wylde, together with his eponymous branding and design agency, has designed the new first-class cabins for Hawaiian Airlines. Combining more than 20 years’ experience for big-name aviation clients, such as Air Canada, British Airways and JetBlue Airways, and extensive work for hospitality giant Hilton, the result blends comfort with conceptual and formal clarity.

“A key theme was to define a modern reinterpretation of Hawaiian attitude,” explains Wylde. The redesign was meant to provide the airline with a coherent customer experience, as well as creating a unified physical space in the plane itself. As travellers board, they are greeted with large seats with oblique views across the cabin. A pale blue and off-white palette is meant to create a relaxing experience and – with the seats covered with material by Italian manufacturer Poltrona Frau – it certainly feels like the holiday has already begun.

“There are huge similarities but massive differences,” says Wylde about designing the first-class cabin for Hawaiian Airlines and his earlier revamp of JetBlue’s interiors. “Fundamentally, the seats deliver pretty similar products: lie-flat sleeping, privacy, comfort and lounge seating, as well as the ability for guests to ‘own’ their space for up to eight hours. But the philosophical drivers of the brand expression and of the crew culture are both very different. Hawaiian owns romance and exoticism, JetBlue is more focused on performance and modernity. Cabins can never be considered out of the context of this wider brand expression, thus are just one part – albeit a very important one – of a total brand experience.”



Peter Smisek


Above: The seats are covered with material supplied by Poltrona Frau

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A key theme was to define a modern reinterpretation of Hawaiian attitude

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