[PHOTOS] Finnair Unveils $228M Overhaul of Long-Haul Customer Experience


A bird’s eye view of Finnair’s AirLounge business-class seat. All images via Finnair

Over the next two years, Finnair will completely transform its long-haul offering with a redesigned business-class cabin, all-new premium economy-class offering and refreshed economy-class experience. 

As part of a $228-million overhaul of its long-haul customer experience, Finnair has unveiled a new business-class cabin that will be rolled out across its fleet of Airbus A350 and A330 aircraft. 

The carrier is the launch customer for Collins Aerospace’s AirLounge seats, which are based on a concept created by London-based design house PriestmanGoode. They have been customized for Finnair by Tangerine in a Nordic style with clean lines and dark colors that are reflected in Finnair’s lounges in the non-Schengen area at Helsinki Airport.

Taking inspiration from lounge furniture, the AirLounge seats have a fixed contoured shell with no recline that offers privacy as well as the ability to turn into a bed with the use of the ottoman and special infill panels. Certified for use during taxi, take-off and landing, a mattress and Marimekko-designed duvet and pillows are available throughout the flight for passengers to use as they wish. 

Despite having no recline, Finnair’s new business-class seat can still be turned into a lie-flat bed

Each seat is equipped with a lamp that doubles as a reading light and complements new cabin mood lighting designed with Jetlite to reduce jet lag. When the cabin lights are dimmed, the remaining glow resembles the Northern lights. There is also a do not disturb light visible to crew. 

There are stowage spaces for laptops and personal items, and a flexible table can be used to read, dine or work. Each seat comes with USB A, USB C, AC and wireless mobile charging capabilities. Furthermore, business-class passengers will benefit from an 18-inch in-flight entertainment (IFE) screen complete with a more user-friendly interface. All of Finnair’s long-haul aircraft are also equipped with in-flight connectivity.

Business-class passengers will enjoy renewed meal and beverage offerings, including up to six-courses served in a modern bistro-style and another lighter meal. In between meals, they can enjoy refreshments in a new dedicated area located at the main entrance of the aircraft.  

A blue Kuula tumbler designed by Harri Koskinen for Finnair

Meals will be served using contemporary lightweight china plates, bowls, cups, tumblers, wine glasses and cutlery provided by Finnish design house Iittala, which has been collaborating with the airline since the 1960s. Designed by Harri Koskinen, the Kuulas dining collection will also be used in Finnair’s long-haul premium-economy class and short-haul business-class cabins. The Kuulas tumblers, made at Finland’s Iittala Glass Factory, will soon be available to purchase from both Iittala and Finnair.

Finnair is also the launch customer for HAECO’s Vector Premium product in its all-new 26-seat premium economy-class cabin, which has also been customized by Tangerine. Featuring memory foam cushions, an eight-inch recline, waterfall leg rest and six-way headrest, the carrier said the seats offer 50% more space than in economy class. Each seat also provides passengers with a Marimekko-designed neck pillow and woven blanket for added comfort. 

The HAECO Vector Premium customized by Tangerine for Finnair’s premium economy-class cabin

Additional premium-economy class features include dedicated stowage for laptops and small personal items, a large single-leaf meal tray and a reading light. Each seat is equipped with a 13-inch seatback IFE screen and AC and USB-A ports.

In terms of in-flight service, premium economy-class passengers will be served a three-course meal followed by a light meal service before landing.

Ole Orvér, Finnair’s CCO, explained, “The trend for premium travel has significantly accelerated during the pandemic, so we are confident our new premium-economy class will prove popular with customers looking for an upgraded experience from economy.”

Finnair’s new A350 economy-class cabin

Finally, Finnair is also refreshing the long-haul economy-class offering on its existing A330s and three of its incoming A350s by introducing lighter seats with enhanced ergonomics, stowage options, USB A and USB C in-seat power and larger IFE screens. The carrier’s existing A350s will receive new seat covers and incorporate the updated IFE interface.