Onboard a Finnair flight from Hong Kong to Helsinki, comfortably seated in Finnair new business class on the Airbus A350. Last time I tried this product was on the inaugural flight from the Airbus factory in Toulouse to Helsinki, a very memorable day, so it does feel good to be back.
The new cabin products have been designed by dSign Vertti Kivi & Co, who also designed the Finnair lounges in Helsinki, and the idea is to offer Finnish design in the air, “a unique Nordic experience” with “the best of Nordic hospitality”.
The seat is the Zodiac Cirrus III model from Zodiac in a 1-2-1 configuration, which means all passengers have direct access to the aisle. There are 12 rows of business class on the Airbus A350, although only two seats on row 9. This means 46 seats in total in business class.
The seat also features a 16-inches screen, a power socket, USB port, a cocktail table for glasses and personal items and a hook for the headphones.
There is more storage for personal items, the amenity kit and a bottle of water next to the armrest in a hidden drawer.
Marimekko has been a Finnair partner for many years and they are also involved in the new Airbus A350. Upon boarding a Marimekko folder containing the menu and the breakfast order form were waiting at the seat, which was a nice touch. They have also designed the business class pillow and duvet in the signature white and green colours, as well as the slippers in blue and white and the amenity kit.
A cool feature I like a lot about the Finnair Airbus A350 is the page in the inflight entertainment system showing an overview of the flight with the departure and arrival times in both time zones, a timeline of what will happen during the flight, the remaining flight time, the flight map, and cockpit cameras. In business class you also get your personal Wi-Fi code on this page. In business class you are entitled to one hour of free internet.
I also like the lighting effects from Vertti Kivi which make a really good first impression. The cabin is actually all in white, or perhaps light grey, and the inflight ambience is entirely created using various mood lighting effects. If you see the cabin on the ground in full daylight with no lighting effects turned on it actually looks rather sterile, but the whole concept does work.
The mood lighting below shows the colours of Finnair and the colours of the Finnish flag, but there is also another one called ‘Northern Lights’ with the colours of Aurora Borealis which is usually used before landing.
Overall I like the new Finnair business class product on the Airbus A350. It has a nice Nordic minimalistic design with lots of fun functions and features and the mood lighting effects from Verti Kivi make a really good impression, especially on night flights. The Zodiac Cirrus seat is also a nice one in general, however it seems like Finnair has placed the seats closer to each other than some competitors, making the legroom slightly tighter, which you will notice when the seat has been fully reclined.