Finnair, between Airlounge, design and chef, flight is already experience

Get on board and find a cabin where design goes hand in hand with functionality, with spacious seats inspired by lounge furniture, a food offer curated by a chef and served on porcelain and designer dishes, but also feel like part of a large sustainability project. On Finnairs, the refurbished aircraft of the Finnish national airline, flying is already an experience. What has become a real must for travelers from all over the world, the experience, already begins on board, whether you are traveling on vacation or at work. A new course supported by strong investments to confirm the style and values ​​of all time, but also to look ahead by innovating and innovating in the darkest period of air transport, which after the pandemic now suffers from the effects of war in Ukraine, as before all the national airline in a country bordering Russia has to deal heavily with, forced to revise the routes to the east, which has always been its core business.

In this scenario, Finnair has in recent weeks launched the new look for its long-haul flights, precisely to improve the customer experience, both in Business Class and Economy, and has added a middle class, Premium Economy. A project involving an investment of 200 million euros with the complete renovation of the cabins of the Airbus A350 and A330 in the fleet intended for long-haul flights.

“Our investment in improving the long-term customer experience – said Topi Manner, CEO of Finnair – demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the entire Finnair team to offer a first-class experience in every cabin of 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, while remaining the first choice for travelers on connections between Europe and Asia. “

Finnair is the first airline to launch a completely new seating concept for Business Class, AirLounge, developed in close collaboration with Collins Aerospace, in the Nordic design style, which is also found in the airline’s lounges. “The collaboration with Finnair enabled the launch of these innovative seats and helped to bring a completely unique cabin idea to light. I am convinced that together we have set a new standard in passenger comfort and travel experience,” said Mark Vaughan, Vice President and General Manager Interiors Seating at Collins Aerospace.

Not a reclining seat, but a fixed shell environment that allows for a wide range of sitting and resting positions, designed to maximize comfort, space and freedom of movement. “The space is today’s luxury – said Ole Orvér, Chief Commercial Officer of Finnair – and we have thought a lot, with attention to detail, to create the best Business Class armchair for our customers. Both the armchair and the chair. The whole Business Class experience is centered around comfort, space and customer choice and is the culmination of our designos, which will appear in all our long-haul flights to redefine modern premium travel. ”

In AirLounge you can sit at different angles, let your legs rest thanks to the footrest, raise a panel to get a large flat surface, while the mattress, duvet and pillow transform the room into a comfortable bed. In addition, the high seat shell ensures your privacy, while the partition between the middle seats can be folded down when traveling in company. As David Kondo, Finnair Customer Experience Team who led the design work, explained, “we wanted to redesign Business Class and create a more inviting environment and re-suggest the comfort that everyone finds in their own home: eliminating the most complex mechanisms. Of seats and by using three-dimensional curved seats, we are able to provide a wider and more flexible space, and this allows you to move more freely and occupy different positions that traditional seats do not allow “.

Not only. All Finnair long-haul aircraft are equipped with Internet access, USB ports, PC power and wireless charging and Inflight Entertainment System technology screens. Several storage spaces and lighting options, which add the mood lighting in the cabin, designed in collaboration with Jetlite to combat the effect of jet lag, with a design inspired by the Nordic nature, which reproduces the colors of the northern lights when it is dark to sleep.

All 100% made in Finland. In keeping with its long tradition of design, Finnair has worked with the best Finnish studios to complete the cabin mood with new fabrics and service. The Finnish fashion house Marimekko has created pillows and duvets for Business Class, with Maija Isola’s iconic designs in soothing dark colors, while the neck pillow and the woven rug are specially designed for the new Premium Economy seat. And this middle class is one of the news of the new Finnair runway. Located in a private cabin that can accommodate a maximum of 26 passengers, it offers a comfortable choice of seating with approximately 50% more space than the economy.

In fact, the new Premium Economy seats have been optimized to improve comfort and ergonomics, with memory foam cushions, a wide recliner, legrest and headrest with six adjustable positions. The dedicated space for laptops and small personal belongings is built into the design, so customers have everything they need at their fingertips during the flight. “The trend towards premium travel has increased significantly during the pandemic, so we are convinced that our new Premium Economy travel class will prove very popular with customers looking for a superior Economy experience,” added Ole Orvér. But Finnair has also invested in renewing its Economy Class for long-haul flights to provide customers with a more relaxed environment: The new seats are lighter and with better ergonomics, customized storage options, a USB A&C connection and a larger screen for entertainment during the flight with an updated user interface.

Finnair’s renewed long-distance experience does not stop with cabin design. To complement it, the new series of porcelain tableware and crystal glass for the catering service, produced by the iconic and historic Finnish brand Iittala and designed exclusively for Finnair by Harri Koskinen, one of the most famous Finnish modern designers. As a designer, I was fascinated by Finnair’s idea of ​​the new flying experience to make travelers feel at home. Although Kuula’s service is designed for the flying environment, the main task was to create authentic and familiar objects that remind the user of the home and the plates that used in everyday life. Durable materials and a delicate design create a first-class experience “, Koskinen emphasized.

The service, which is inspired by the modern home environment, is designed for flight and is almost 20% lighter than its predecessors, which contributes to the weight reduction and thus to the achievement of the CO2 reduction goals that Finnair shares. “In the long Business Class and the new Premium Economy Class, the meal is part of the journey itself, and we would like to complement the experience with a fresh Nordic design,” says Kristos Mavrostomos, head of service development in the team. Finnair Inflight CX.

A collaboration, that between Finnair and Iittala, which dates back to the 1960s, when Tapio Wirkkala designed the iconic ‘Ultima Thule’ series of glasses in 1968, which was first launched in 1969 on Finnair’s flights to New York. “Since the 1960s, the collaboration between Iittala and Finnair has promoted Nordic design around the world. We are pleased to be able to continue this partnership with the new Kuulas service. As a result of Harri Koskinen’s experience in design, the Kuulas collection is functional and reflective. a timeless Nordic aesthetic: essential elements in Iittala’s design, “remarked Carolina Bade, Iittala’s VP Business and Offering.

To complete the experience of the service on board, there are of course the meals on offer, which in turn speak Finnish. They are actually prepared internally by the airline, by Finnair Kitchen and not contracted with external companies and personally supervised by head chef Koji Moriwaki. Just today, 11 May, a new menu begins to focus on the best of Nordic cuisine. , with Japanese influence and Asian. Business Class customers will enjoy a renewed range of food and drink, including a modern bistro-style six-course meal and an even lighter one. Between one meal and the next, customers will thus be able to take advantage of the new dining area, which is located at the aircraft’s main entrance.

Raw materials chosen in the name of sustainability to feel part of a broader global plan. And it is precisely by moving from sustainability that the flight experience with the Finnish company starts and ends. Awareness of CO2 reduction through reduced flight weight, low fuel consumption and the use of sustainable aviation fuel and offsetting are constant goals for Finnair, which aims to halve emissions by the end of 2025 and achieve CO2 neutrality by the end of 2045. .

Finnair thus also invites its customers to offset the emissions from their flights with a service that combines sustainable aviation fuel and certified climate protection projects: via a platform, Finnair customers can calculate the emissions from their flight and fully compensate their journey by choosing a mix of sustainable aviation fuels (Saf) and certified compensation projects. “Both Finnair and our customers want to commit to reducing the footprint of CO2 from air travel, and we want to offer passengers a simple and transparent way to do it. Our service combines two important tools, offsets and Saf, both of which are necessary to achieve carbon neutrality in aviation “, noted Eveliina Huurre, SVP Sustainability, Finnair. And by buying the ticket for a new, sustainable flight, the experience with Finnair can start all over again.

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