Finnair is gearing up for the launch of its long-awaited premium economy seat, and the airline’s business class could also be in for a shake-up.
However, the Finnish flag-carrier has pushed back the planned January 19 reveal of what it has described as a “fully renewed long-haul cabin.”
"Due to the pandemic situation and related restrictions in Finland and globally we have made the decision to postpone the launch event of Finnair’s elevated long-haul experience slightly," a spokesperson for the airline tells Executive Traveller. "We will communicate the new launch date soon."
Finnair has already hinted at what’s to come on social media, with a 25-second video clip teasing slow-panning views of a seat shell and a reading lamp, among other nondescript elements.
The colour scheme leans hevily on Finnair’s signature dark blue – a centrepiece of the airline’s ‘modern premium' brand refresh – with accents of silver, champagne gold and black.
This is markedly different from Finnair’s familiar aesthetic of creams and whites, with pale blues and other highlights often provided courtesy of pillows, blankets and seat covers from iconic Finnish design house Marimekko.
The clip has, of course, sparked questions and speculation in equal measure.
Perhaps the most significant clue is the glimpse of a seat badge, specifically 3L, which is a window seat in the third row of Finnair’s business class.
Is this a glimpse of a new business class seat design – the same seat which also boasts that elegant little reading lamp?
If so, it would be a ‘next generation’ product for both the current Airbus A350 and A330.
This would also leave scope for a second teaser in the coming weeks, this time dedicated to the all-new premium economy seats.
What to expect from Finnair premium economy...
Finnair previously intended to begin flying these in late 2020, but the impact of Covid pushed back their debut by more than a year.
The Oneworld member has previously said the seats would sport a "highly customised design" and be located in their own dedicated cabin.
Just how large that cabin is – and how much space it takes away from both business class and economy – will be eagerly watched.
Following the presentation of Finnair’s Q3 interim report in October 2021, the airline described itself as “mainly a leisure-driven airline” – a model where premium economy could prove a far better and more profitable fit than business class travel.
“Even though it is likely that business travel will not recover as fast as leisure travel in the coming years, we believe that there is increasing demand for premium leisure travel,” the airline noted at the time, saying that premium economy was intended “to meet this demand.”