Finnair (Helsinki) will formally introduced its new Airbus A350-900 on October 25, 2015. However the airline will operate a number of introductory routes and flights in Europe during October before the new type goes into regular service to Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore. Finnair’s first ever commercial A350 flight will be on October 5 from Helsinki to Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland.
According to the airline:
Finnair is the European launch customer, and only the third worldwide, of the completely new aircraft type, which substantially raises the bar for passenger comfort, environmental performance and operational efficiency.
Finnair is also the first airline in the world to operate the A350 on scheduled services to China, where Shanghai will be served with daily A350 service from October 25, 2015. Beijing follows with daily A350 service on November 21, 2015.
Finnair’s peak-season frequencies to Bangkok will be served with a combination of A350 and modern, comfortable A330 aircraft from December 4, 2015. Daily services to Hong Kong from February 1, 2016 and to Singapore from May 5, 2016 will also be operated with a combination of A350 and A330 aircraft.
Customers can determine the planned aircraft type of their flight by clicking on the flight number during the online booking process at Finnair.com, or by consulting with their travel agent. Changes in aircraft type are possible for operational reasons.
Finnair has 19 A350 aircraft on order, and expects to receive the first four by the end of this year. Another seven will be delivered in 2016 and 2017, with the remaining eight to be delivered between 2018 and 2023. Finnair plans to phase out its A340 aircraft by the end of 2017, leaving the entire widebody fleet comprised only of top-of-the-range Airbus A330 and A350 aircraft.
Crew familiarization flights planned in Europe
Before long-haul A350 operations begin, Finnair will conduct crew familiarization flights throughout Europe during October. These regularly scheduled commercial services will be operated as usual within the Finnair network, just with an A350 rather than the usual narrowbody aircraft. As part of this crew familiarisation, Finnair’s first ever commercial A350 flight will be on October 5 to Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland, followed in the next two weeks by other European cities such as Brussels, Hamburg, London, Stockholm and Vienna.
October Flights in Europe:
CLICK HERE for the full list of Airbus A350 flights.
Finnair’s A350 XWB: New standards in passenger comfort
The A350’s bright and spacious cabin features large panoramic view windows and comfortable seating arrangements in both cabin classes. Gradual changes in dynamic ambient LED lighting ease customers into new time zones and help create a calming and fresh atmosphere. All Finnair A350s will also be equipped with Wi-Fi for greater passenger enjoyment and connectivity.
The eco-smart design of the A350 brings more than 25 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency and operating cost over the previous generation of aircraft in its class, significantly reducing the carbon footprint of Finnair and its passengers.
The A350 also features an advanced pure air filtration system that changes the air in the cabin every two to three minutes. Draft-free air management, adjustable multiple temperature zones and a higher cabin pressurization also enhance the well-being and reduce the fatigue of passengers and crew.
The 297-seat configuration includes 46 seats in Business Class (above) in a 1+2+1 layout, ensuring direct aisle access for all Business Class passengers. The Zodiac Cirrus III seats convert to fully flat beds, while a 16-inch touch-screen inflight entertainment system comes programmed with films, TV shows, music and other digital content on demand in numerous languages. Seats in Business Class also come equipped with AC and USB power outlets.
The Economy Class cabin features comfortable Zodiac Z300 slim-line seats with a 31-inch seat pitch in a 3+3+3 layout. At the front of the Economy Class cabin are 43 Economy Comfort seats, which come with four extra inches of leg room as well as noise-cancelling headphones and an amenity kit. All seats in Economy include an 11-inch touch screen inflight entertainment system and USB power outlets.
All images by Finnair and Airbus.