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.
Finnair’s Nordic design language and the warm, dark, comforting color 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.
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.
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 maximize your comfort, space, and freedom to move during a long-haul flight. The clean lines and the dark, comforting color scheme follow Finnair’s Nordic design style that is visible also in Finnair’s lounges in the non-Schengen area at Helsinki Airport.
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.
Long-haul flights are key to Finnair’s strategy, with the Finnish carrier specializing 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.