I view Finnair as one of the best European airlines, partly because of their commitment to provide passengers with a traditional Nordic experience onboard. They offer an extensive route network to Asia, and furthermore, their hub at Helsinki Airport is generally regarded as one of the best airports in Europe.
Finnair has just announced an upgrade to their business class service on their Airbus A350. They use the A350 on almost all of their flights to Asia, and will have 19 aircraft in their fleet by 2023.
Finnair's current A350 business class cabin. Image courtesy of Finnair/Australian Business Traveler.
Finnair's A350 aircraft currently offers a private, lie-flat reverse herringbone hard product in a 1-2-1 configuration on their A350s, meaning that every seat has direct aisle access. Throughout the next year, they will be updating the finishes in their business class cabin, with new patterns and themes throughout the cabin from Finnish design house Marimekko. As per the Nordic trend of simplicity, the new seat finishes will include "simple and stylish" seat colors. Furthermore, the entire business class hard product will receive this minimalist treatment as well. Finnair's head of Cabin Interior Development explained the changes to the hard product in the following statement:
“With Nordic-inspired design throughout the entire cabin, our aim is for our guests to be treated to a travel experience that soothes the senses and clears the mind. Our new seat textiles and comfort amenities have a fresh and modern aesthetic that is inspired by Nordic homes and landscapes.”
Finnair's refreshed business class on the Airbus A350-900. Images courtesy of Finnair.
In addition to the improved hard product, Finnair will be making changes to their soft product as well. Starting in February 7, 2018, Finnair business class passengers will enjoy a "dine on demand" service. This means that passengers will be able to eat at whatever time they please, instead of sticking to a schedule set by the crew. This is certainly a great improvement for passengers, as it gives them lots of flexibility on how to spend their time on a long flight. The first routes to get this service will be Helsinki - Seoul (Incheon), Tokyo (Narita), and Shanghai. Gradually, this service will be available on all flights with international business class, likely including those that are operating by the Airbus A330 as well.
As a special Nordic touch, Finnair would be providing a Finnish treat known as "Kahvikutsut." This will consist of Finnish coffee, served with "seven different treats," such as Carelian pies, cinnamon buns, coffee cake, and traditional Finnish chocolates. According to Finnair, this will be served between the two main meal services. It'll be available on flights from Asia to Helsinki departing in the morning.
An example of the Kahvikutsut experience on Finnair. Image courtesy of Finnair.
I think Finnair can make a good business product even better with the addition of these new improvements to their business class service. Dine-on-demand is a great concept, especially for business class travelers, but the Kahvikutsut sounds extremely appealing, and delicious. When I was in Finland, I was lucky enough to have experienced Kahvikutsut, and I must say that it has been one of my favorite cultural experiences in Scandinavia. I presume you will enjoy the new improvements as well.
Do you have a business flight booked on Finnair's new A350 sometime next year?