After several months of trial flights, Hawaiian Airlines has started selling lie-flat seats on its refurbished Airbus A330s, the Honolulu-based carrier announces on 5 October.

The seats are now available for sale on flights beginning 5 December from Honolulu to Auckland, Brisbane and Tokyo Narita, Hawaiian says.

It is also selling lie-flat seats on flights beginning 13 December between Honolulu and Sydney.

"We look forward to bringing this distinctive experience to additional markets in the coming years," Hawaiian's senior vice-president of marketing Avi Mannis says in a media release.

Hawaiian announced last year that it was revamping its A330 first class by replacing 18 traditional seats with 18 fully lie-flat seats. The project will also see Hawaiian add 28 premium economy seats to the aircraft, for a total of 68.

Hawaiian did not purchase off-the-shelf lie-flat seats because existing products were designed for business travellers, not the leisure travellers to which Hawaiian caters, Mannis has told FlightGlobal.

Existing seats tended to be bland in colour, big and boxy and designed to provide maximum privacy, Mannis said.

Therefore, Hawaiian hired Italian seat maker Optimares to design a new seat that has fewer physical barriers – ideal for honeymooners and vacationers, Mannis said.

The overhauls were performed by ATS in Everett, Washington, Hawaiian has said.

Hawaiian received in June the first retrofitted aircraft. It deployed that A330 between Maui and Los Angeles, but had not been selling lie-flat seats as a dedicated product, the carrier has said.

Following the initial delivery, overhauls paused during the busy summer season and resumed in September, according to Hawaiian.

The airline expects to end the year with five or six of its 23 A330s having been completed, Hawaiian's chief executive Mark Dunkerley told FlightGlobal in September.

Source: Cirium Dashboard