Finnair has today launched a new Premium Economy product and updated Business that it has teased about for the past couple of months.
The product rollout will take two years, and it will be installed on all existing A330 and A350 aircraft and those two that are yet to be delivered.
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Press Release From Finnair:
A journey into more space – the new face of Finnair is unveiled with a €200million investment in the ultimate customer experience
Brand new, spacious Business Class and Premium Economy cabins revealed with rollout starting in February 2022
Major enhancements in Economy for the long-haul customer journey
Finnair has today launched the airline’s new spacious, long-haul look with a brand-new Business Class and exciting new Premium Economy cabin as part of a major investment to enhance the customer experience.
The Finnish flag carrier, known for connecting Asia and Europe via the short northern route, unveiled the 200-million-euro investment at a press conference in Helsinki this morning.
The complete cabin renewal covers all Finnair Airbus A350 and A330 long-haul aircraft, with new cabins to be fitted over the next two years, featuring an entirely new Business Class, a brand-new Premium Economy cabin, and a refreshed Economy Class.
The full experience, complete with renewed service concepts, will be available in spring 2022 on selected routes across Finnair’s long-haul network. The routes will be announced at the sales start on March 1, 2022.
Topi Manner, Finnair CEO, said: “Our investment to enhance the long-haul customer experience demonstrates the continuing commitment of the whole Finnair team to deliver a premium experience in every cabin on our aircraft.”
“The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on our industry, but it has not changed our ambition to offer a modern premium experience as we continue to be the first choice for travellers connecting Europe and Asia.”
Finnair is the launch customer for a brand-new concept in Business Class seats, developed in close collaboration with Collins Aerospace, maximising customer space and the freedom to move.
The unique fixed shell lounge space enables a wide variety of sitting and sleeping positions, allowing customers to make the space their own during a relaxing long-haul flight.
Ole Orvér, Finnair Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Space is today’s luxury, and we have put a lot of thought and attention to detail into creating the best Business Class seat for our customers.”
“Both the seat and the whole Business Class experience is centered around customer comfort, space, and choice and is the culmination of our design ethos which will appear throughout our long-haul aircraft to redefine modern premium travel.”
“We look forward to welcoming our customers to experience the new Finnair, as we roll out the cabin renewal across our long-haul fleet over the next two years.”
Finnair’s Nordic design language and the warm, dark, comforting colour scheme throughout the Business Class and Premium Economy follow the palette and design of Finnair’s renewed non-Schengen lounges, unveiled at Helsinki Airport in 2019.
The main entrance for all cabin classes has a stylish new entry area and a refreshment bar, creating a striking impression for customers and new service opportunities for cabin crew.
The Business Class cabin renewal also comes complete with renewed service concepts to further enhance the customer experience.
Customers will be enjoying a choice of dishes served on new chinaware designed by top Finnish designer Harri Koskinen and Iittala specifically for Finnair.
Finnish design house Marimekko has designed a new collection of unique textiles to complement the warm and inviting onboard atmosphere to create a premium customer comfort experience. These include a duvet and pillows for the Business class, as well as a neck pillow and a woven blanket for Premium Economy.
Finnair’s new Premium Economy cabin is being installed in all its long-haul aircraft for the first time, offering the airline’s long-haul customers a comfortable and stylish new cabin choice.
“Premium leisure is a trend that has been significantly accelerated during the pandemic, so we are confident our new Premium Economy travel class with its comfortable seats and more space will prove very popular with customers looking for an upgraded experience from Economy”, said Ole Orvér.
Finnair has also invested in a refresh of its long-haul Economy Class, with new seats and larger Inflight Entertainment (IFE) screens with an updated user interface for its A330 aircraft and three A350s.
Sixteen of Finnair’s A350 aircraft will see their Economy cabins receive new seat covers and an updated IFE user experience to bring them in line with the designs of the new Business and Premium Economy cabins.
Long-haul flights are key to Finnair’s strategy, with the Finnish carrier specialising in connecting Europe and Asia via the short, fuel-efficient northern route, as well as offering excellent connections to the US.
In summer 2022, Finnair plans to serve nearly 100 destinations in Europe, Asia and the US including new long-haul routes to Busan, in South Korea, Tokyo Haneda in Japan as well as Dallas and Seattle in the USA.
Updated Business Class
Rethinking Business Class travel: Finnair’s spacious new seat means business
Business class travel takes a leap forward with Finnair’s new Business Class cabin and the spacious new Collins Aerospace AirLounge™ seat. Finnair is the launch customer for this new and innovative seating concept that is to be rolled out across Finnair’s entire long-haul fleet of A330s and A350s.
The AirLounge is not a traditional aircraft seat but takes inspiration from lounge furniture. The seat is designed to maximise your comfort, space, and freedom to move during a long-haul flight. The clean lines and the dark, comforting colour scheme follow Finnair’s Nordic design style that is visible also in Finnair’s lounges in the non-Schengen area at Helsinki Airport.
David Kondo from Finnair’s Customer Experience team, who led the design work for the new Finnair long-haul experience, said:
“We wanted to rethink business class and create more of a residential environment, emulating the comfort you would expect at home. By doing away with complicated seat mechanisms and using 3D curved shells, we’re able to provide a larger flexible living space. This allows you to move more freely and take up different positions that traditional aircraft seats do not allow.”
The seat concept was originally conceived by PriestmanGoode of London. The seat was further developed by Collins Aerospace, with customisation and final design execution by Finnair and its appointed design partner, Tangerine.
“The collaborative partnership with Finnair enabled the launch of this innovative seat and helped bring a truly unique cabin concept to life,” said Mark Vaughan, vice president and general manager of Interiors Seating for Collins Aerospace. “I truly believe that together we have set a new bar for passenger comfort and the travel experience.”
An exclusive space that you can make your own
The seat’s innovative fixed contoured shell with no recline enables a wide variety of sitting and sleeping positions: you can sit at different angles, rest your feet on the ottoman or use infill panels to create a large flat surface. A mattress and duvet turn the space into a comfortable bed, and you can use the cushy pillows to relax in a variety of sitting positions. The high cocoon like shell of the seat provides privacy, while the divider between central seats can be lowered when travelling with a companion.
The lighting options in the seat allow tailoring the ambiance of every customer’s own “nest”. Along with a customised lamp that doubles as a reading light, a do not disturb light is included if total privacy is desired. The in-seat lighting complements new cabin mood lighting designed in partnership with Jetlite to combat the effects of jetlag. The design scheme is inspired by Nordic nature, complete with the northern lights as the cabin is dimmed for sleep.
The various storage options within the seat include spaces for personal items, laptop, and all pillows and blankets; all certified for taxi, take-off, and landing, so customers can settle in right away and have their essential items conveniently at hand right from the start of the journey.
The flexible table can be used to read, dine or work. Each seat comes with impressive connectivity, including USB A, USB C, PC power, and wireless mobile charging. All of Finnair’s long-haul aircraft are equipped with internet connectivity.
The Inflight Entertainment System comes with a new more user-friendly, customised interface and a wider 18-inch screen, making time onboard fly.
Design collaborations, bar area and renewed meal concept in Nordic style
In line with its long design heritage, Finnair has worked with top Finnish design houses to complement the cabin ambiance and premium travel experience through beautiful new textiles and tableware.
All meals are served on new chinaware from Finnish design house Iittala. The Kuulas dining collection is designed by Harri Koskinen and inspired by the contemporary home environment. Each item in the collection is carefully designed with aviation in mind, making the collection efficient and lighter to support aircraft weight and CO2 reduction targets.
Business Class customers will enjoy renewed meal and beverage offerings, including an up to six-course meal in modern bistro-style and another lighter meal. In between meals customers can enjoy the stunning new refreshment area located at the main entrance of the aircraft.
The Finnish fashion house, Marimekko has created unique pillows and a duvet for the Business Class, with Maija Isola’s iconic designs in soothing dark colours.
New Premium Economy:
Finnair’s new Premium Economy for long-haul fleet boosts upscale travel options
Finnair has unveiled its brand-new Premium Economy product which will offer an appealing new travel option for its long-haul customers. The new travel class – alongside a unique new Business Class and a refreshed Economy Class – makes its debut this spring.
Finnair’s stylish and spacious Premium Economy cabin will offer a comfortable seating choice that provides approximately 50% more space than Economy Class. The new cabin class is situated in its own intimate and dedicated cabin with a maximum of just 26 passengers per aircraft.
The new Premium Economy seat has been optimised for enhanced comfort and ergonomics, featuring memory foam cushions, a deep 8” recline, waterfall leg rest and 6-way headrest. Dedicated stowage for laptops and small personal items is incorporated to the design so that customers have everything they need at their fingertips throughout their flight.
The seat also features a large and sturdy single leaf meal tray for work and dining, as well as individual reading lights. Customers can keep their devices charged with universal PC power and USB-A ports. Each seat features a redesigned in-flight entertainment system with 13” wide screens to make time onboard fly with blockbuster movies and top TV shows.
Finnair is the launch customer of the “Vector™ Premium” seat, which is manufactured by HAECO, who also provide heavy maintenance services and are performing the cabin refits for Finnair. The seat has been heavily customised to Finnair’s exacting specifications and designed in partnership with London based design agency Tangerine.
Premium Economy customers can enjoy two meal services as well as a selection of drinks throughout the flight. A three-course meal will be served on new chinaware designed exclusively for Finnair by top Finnish designer Harri Koskinen and Finnish design icon, Iittala. There is also a light meal service just before landing.
Finnair has teamed up with renowned Finnish design house Marimekko to bring unique textiles for Premium Economy to complement the warm and inviting onboard atmosphere. The neck pillow and woven blanket are designed specifically for the new Premium Economy seat to enhance the travel experience and comfort.
Ole Orvér, Finnair Chief Commercial Officer, said:
“The trend for premium travel has significantly accelerated during the pandemic, so we are confident our new Premium Economy travel class will prove very popular with customers looking for an upgraded experience from Economy.”
Finnair has also invested in a refresh of its long-haul Economy Class, to provide customers with a more restful ambiance for their long-haul flight. New lighter seats for Finnair’s A330 aircraft and three new A350 aircraft will offer enhanced ergonomics, personal stowage options, USB A & C connectivity and a larger inflight entertainment (IFE) screen with an updated user interface.
The makeover of Finnair’s A350 aircraft in service currently will see their Economy cabins receive new seat covers and an updated IFE user experience to bring them in line with the designs of the new Business and Premium Economy cabins.
The launch of the new Premium Economy cabin forms a part of Finnair’s significant €200million investment of all the airline’s long-haul aircraft to enhance the customer experience. Long-haul flights are key to Finnair’s strategy, with the Finnish carrier specialising in connecting Europe and Asia via the short, fuel-efficient northern route, as well as offering excellent connections to the USA.
In summer 2022, Finnair plans to serve nearly 100 destinations in Europe, Asia and the US including new long-haul routes to Busan, in South Korea, Tokyo Haneda in Japan as well as Dallas and Seattle in the US.
New Iittala Glassware
New Iittala Kuulas tableware for Finnair’s flights – Design by Harri Koskinen
Finnair’s completely new long-haul travel experience is complemented by new Iittala tableware designed exclusively for Finnair by Harri Koskinen, one of Finland’s best-known contemporary designers. Koskinen created the Kuulas collection to be used in Finnair’s long-haul business class and the new premium economy travel class, and short-haul business class.
The new Iittala Kuulas tableware is designed for the flying experience and inspired by the modern home-like environment. The collection, designed by Harri Koskinen, includes plates, bowls, cups, tumblers, wine glasses and cutlery.
“In the long-haul business class and the new premium economy class, dining is an important part of the whole, and we wanted to complement the experience with fresh Nordic design,” says Kristos Mavrostomos, who is responsible of developing the tableware in Finnair’s Inflight CX team.
The tableware is designed for an in-flight environment and is almost 20% lighter than Finnair’s previous tableware, which supports Finnair’s weight reduction and emission targets.
Tableware to support the cabin experience
The starting point for the design of the Kuulas tableware was to support the whole of the renewed travel experience: close co-operation in the design process was established with various parties, including Finnair Kitchen’s chefs. Finnair Kitchen has designed a new meal concept focusing on the very best in Nordic cuisine, with Japanese and Asian influences for the business class, and the Kuulas tableware is also available for a three-course meal in the new premium economy travel class. Close co-operation in the design process ensured that the tableware meets the needs of the kitchen and at the same time supports the desired cabin experience.
“As a designer I was fascinated by Finnair’s idea for the new flight experience to make the cabin feel like home. Even though the Kuulas tableware is designed for the in-flight environment, the main task was to create authentic, familiar items which would remind the user of home and of tableware used in everyday life. Lasting materials and thoughtful design create a premium experience,” Koskinen says.
Co-operation already from the 1960s
The co-operation between Finnair and Iittala began as early as the 1960s, when Tapio Wirkkala designed the iconic Ultima Thule glassware series in 1968, and it was first launched in 1969 for Finnair’s New York flights. The Ultima Thule glass will still continue to be used in Finnair’s business class champagne serving.
“Already since the 1960s Iittala and Finnair’s co-operation has been promoting Nordic design around the world. We are delighted to continue the co-operation with the new Kuulas tableware. As a result of Harri Koskinen’s expertise in design, the Kuulas collection is functional and reflects timeless, Nordic aesthetics – elements that are essential in Iittala’s design,” says Carolina Bade, VP, Iittala’s business and offering.
Kuulas tumblers, which are made in the Iittala Glass Factory in Finland, will also be later available for consumers to buy in Iittala’s and Finnair’s channels.
These changes look exciting, but how can you comfortably be on a business class seat that doesn’t recline? I rarely prefer sitting in the up-right position but rather tilt the seat, but not on a complete bed mode. It is interesting to see how comfortable the seat is in various uses.
You have to remember that airlines tend to use petite people on their promotional images that often make seats look bigger and more comfortable than they really are. We need to experience this product by ourselves before concluding how good it is.
Finnair keeps the iconic Ultima Thule line of glassware for champagne service.
These certainly are exciting times, and it is wise that Finnair has used the pandemic to develop the updated product and new Premium Economy cabin.
This will also cause headaches for frequent fliers. It is how Finnair will handle the upgrade certs and if the number of Finnair Plus points for awards and upgrades will change.
Also, there is always a chance of substitution until all the planes have been converted to the latest product. You may have booked the newest cabin and end up with the previous generation one and vice versa.