Aviation News

Finnair unveils new Premium Economy cabin and enhanced Business Class cabin

Finnair has unveiled its highly-anticipated Premium Economy Class cabin and a “enhanced” Business Class cabin. The airline has also made minor changes to its Economy Class to “make the experience more premium”.

Swanky new Business Class

Finnair has unveiled swanky new Business Class seats. Finnair is the launch customer for the new Collins Aerospace AirLounge seats that are to be rolled out across Finnair’s entire long-haul fleet of Airbus A330s and A350s.

New Business Class Entrance

The airline states that the “AirLounge” seat is not a traditional aircraft seat but takes inspiration from lounge furniture. The carrier states that 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.

The seat’s innovative fixed contoured shell 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. Interestingly, these seats do not recline. A mattress and duvet turn the space into a flatbed. While the seats do not feature a sliding door which is now a “trend” in new Business Class seats, 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 the seat according to the passenger’s liking. 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 that passengers can settle in right away.

The flexible table can be used to read, dine or work. Each seat comes with USB-A and USB-C charging ports, along with PC Power and wireless mobile charging. All Finnair’s long-haul aircraft have WiFi.

The Inflight Entertainment System comes with a new more user-friendly, customised interface and a wider 18-inch screen.

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.

In line with its long design heritage, Finnair has worked with top Finnish design houses to complement the cabin ambiance through beautiful new textiles and tableware.

All meals will be 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. The airline states that 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.

Ole Orvér, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair, 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.

Those travelling in Business Class on Finnair will enjoy renewed meal and beverage offerings, including an up to 6-course meal in modern bistro-style and another lighter meal. Passengers can also enjoy the 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.

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.

Mark Vaughan, Vice President and General Manager of Interiors Seating for Collins Aerospace, said:

The collaborative partnership with Finnair enabled the launch of this innovative seat and helped bring a truly unique cabin concept to life. I truly believe that together we have set a new bar for passenger comfort and the travel experience.

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All-new Premium Economy Cabin

Finnair has today unveiled its all-new Premium Economy Cabin. The stylish and spacious Premium Economy cabin will offer a comfortable seating choice that provides approximately 50% more space than Economy Class. 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 seats, designed in partnership with London based design agency Tangerine, has been customised to Finnair’s exacting specifications.

The seats feature memory foam cushions, a 8-inch recline, waterfall leg rest and 6-way headrest. Dedicated stowage for laptops and small personal items is incorporated to the design. The seat also features a large and sturdy single leaf meal tray for work and dining, as well as individual reading lights. Along with that, there is a universal PC power and USB-A ports. Each seat features a redesigned in-flight entertainment system with 13-inch wide screens.

The Helsinki-based airline 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 cabin.

Ole Orvér, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair, 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.

Those travelling in Premium Economy 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 will also be a light meal service just before landing.

A better Economy Class

Finnair has also revealed a refreshed Economy Class. New lighter seats for Finnair’s A330 aircraft and 3 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.

Topi Manner, CEO, Finnair, 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.

Meanwhile, Finnair recently delayed the launch of flights to Dallas, Texas due to weak demand as a result of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. The flight, which was scheduled to launch on 6th February 2022, will now start on 27th March 2022.

Featured image by Finnair

All the other images by Finnair

What do you think about Finnair’s new Business Class and Premium Economy Class? Are you a fan of the seat design or did you expect a better product compared to this? Let me know in the comments section below.

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