Finnair today unveiled its brand new long-haul interiors, to be outfitted on its entire wide body fleet including both the A350 and A330. I had the chance to go take a look at them last week and they are stunning. Finnair is maintaining its signature Nordic-cool look but with a wider range of calming dark blues, grays and wood finishes that positively ooze a cozy, premium feeling.
Finnair gets premium economy
But this is no simple cabin color refresh. With this update, Finnair adds a premium economy class, bringing it closer into line with its transatlantic partners. The seats, arranged in a 2-4-2 layout, are pretty much the industry standard at this point, as is the space, with 38 inches of pitch and 8 inches of recline. The seats are well-padded, with memory foam inside. And Finnair will also be handing out special neck pillows to all premium economy passengers – a first as far as I’m aware.
Game-changer business class
But many might find their attention drawn to the business class. It looks special right from the start, but it’s even more so when you realize its defining feature – no recline. Yes, you heard that correctly. Rather than have a traditional seat that reclines into flat-bed mode, this sculpted shell is made with padding on two sides so that passengers can lean back in a variety of ways. They weren’t on display during my visit but each seat will get two large Marimekko pillows and bedding including a mattress pad and duvet, so that they can turn the seat into a “living space” and just stretch out however they feel best.
Also appreciated: there are dedicated stowage areas for all the pillows and bedding plus for a laptop, so you can make things neat and tidy for landing or whenever you feel like de-cluttering. There are USB-C and USB-A plus universal power ports, a small closet for headphones, a big side table and sturdy dining table plus wireless charging. The personal reading lamp and footwell lighting, which have dimmers, should make for some very nice lighting options too. There are no individual air vents, alas.
Finnair will be rolling out all-new tableware and a new in-flight menu that invites passengers to mix and match appetizers, mains and so on. But not to worry, because the iconic Iittala Ultima Thule glasses that Finnair is famous for will stick around too.
The real test will be seeing how this all feels over the course of a 10-hour flight, but during the five minutes I spent in the seat I found it was easy to get comfortable and I felt really relaxed in the space as well. There may be some who are thrown off by the lack of recline in practice, but on first impression it really works for me.
And we shouldn’t forget about economy class. It gets the most subtle refresh of all, but they’ve done a very nice job here as well. There is still a few rows of Economy Comfort seats with extra legroom just behind Premium Economy, and the seat fabrics, seat-back screens and more have been re-done to look and feel more relaxing and comfortable.
This should be a fantastic way to fly, and we won’t have to wait too long. The first aircraft will start flying very soon, and the entire refit including of A330s is due to be completed by end of 2023. That, by the way, will be Finnair’s 100th anniversary – and what better way to mark the occasion.
See the full selection of photos in the gallery below.
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