Finnair is joining the growing number of airlines that are updating its premium products, refurbishing Business Class, and introducing Premium Economy. Over the next two years, the airline will revamp its Airbus A330 and A350-fleet in a €200 million investment program, Finnair announced on February 10. Finnair introduces new Business Class and Premium Economy.
CEO Topi Manner said that despite the (financial) impact of the pandemic on Finnair and the airline industry in general, not investing in premium products has never been an issue. The carrier says it needs them to compete in the competitive markets between Europe and Asia. Pre-Covid, Finnair was successfully ramping up capacity to Asia, notably China, Japan, and South Korea, especially after introducing the A350 to its fleet.
The current grey-blue Business Class seats are to be replaced with 26 dark blue, fixed shell seats from the new Collins Aerospace AirLounge range. Finnair is the launch customer of this seat, which faces outward next to the windows and forward in the central area. Each seat comes with an eighteen-inch screen of the Inflight Entertainment System. The airline has also upgraded its service products
“We wanted to rethink business class and create more of a residential environment, emulating the comfort you would expect at home”, says David Kondo of Finnair’s Customer Experience Team in a media statement. “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.”
Finnair introduces 26 Premium Economy seats on the two long-range aircraft types. They are of the HAECO Vector Premium range but have been heavily customized to meet the airline’s requirements. Each seat comes with a thirteen-inch IFE screen.
Chief Commercial Officer Ole Orver confirmed the trend reported by other airlines in the US and Europe that demand for Premium Economy has surged, especially since the pandemic. It gives him confidence that Finnair will benefit from this growing demand.
Finnair currently operates a fleet of eight A330-300s and seventeen A350-900s, with two more on order.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.