"In today's competitive world you cannot justify providing complimentary meals on a traditional business model. It simply does not pay for itself... which explains why essentially everybody has taken all that free food off the airplane. We're being illogical by actually investing heavily in this area... It's part of who we are, and it's what makes us different from everybody else."
During the 1980s, Hawaiian also embarked on the development and construction of Kapalua Airport on west side of Maui. Opened in 1987, the airport was designed with a 3,000-foot runway, which constrained its ability to handle large aircraft. As a result, when the airport first opened, Hawaiian Airlines was the only inter-island carrier with aircraft capable of serving the airport. With its de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Dash 7 turboprops, Hawaiian had a distinct competitive advantage in the Maui market.
Starting December 1, 2017, guests in the main cabin on Hawaiian flights between Hawaiʻi and Western U.S. gateway cities will be treated to complimentary meal service exclusively created for the airline’s new Pau Hāna Café brand. The Pau Hāna Café, branded meals made exclusively for the airline, consists of a continental breakfast box for brunch and hot sandwich and side for lunch. Pau Hāna, a Hawaiian term for “finished work,” is a time to relax and unwind after a long workday. The meal service will be followed by coffee and a sweet treat for dessert. A parting Mahalo service features the carrier’s popular Kōloa Breeze cocktail, featuring Kōloa Rum from the Island of Kauaʻi, and the airline's signature Pau Hāna snack mix.
Hawaiian provides complimentary and paid beverage service on all of its flights. Meals are not provided on interisland flights due to their short length (30–45 minutes). On its U.S. mainland flights, Hawaiian is one of the only major U.S. airlines to still provide complimentary meals in its main cabin (coach class); each meal is made with no preservatives, all-natural ingredients and packaged with recyclable materials. In 2009, Hawaiian introduced premium meals in its main cabin, giving passengers the option of having the complimentary meal or paying to upgrade to a premium meal. The premium meals consisted of a variety of high end Asian cuisine, but were later discontinued.
In October 2015, Hawaiian Airlines announced that they will be upgrading their business class seats from the standard cradle seats to a 180-degree lie-flat seats on their A330 fleet in a 2-2-2 configuration. The new seats will be installed starting the second quarter of 2016. In addition to the new business class seats upgrade, the airline will add 28 additional Extra Comfort seating.