Finnair Airbus A350 business class, economy seats

By David Flynn, April 7 2015
Finnair Airbus A350 business class, economy seats

  • Finnair A350 to fly European routes from October; then Shanghai, Beijing and Bangkok in 2015; Hong Kong & Singapore in 2016
  • 46 business class seats using familiar Zodiac Cirrus design (also used by Cathay Pacific)
  • 43 Economy Comfort seats with four inches extra legroom

Finnair will be the first European airline to fly the Airbus A350, and we've got a first look at the business class seats and cabin interiors of the new jet.

At the pointy end of Finnair's new flagship are 46 business class seats spread across two cabins.

Finnair has opted to use the popular Zodiac Cirrus seat – best known as the business class seat of Cathay Pacific, but also adopted by American Airlines and Air France.

This means every passenger will enjoy direct aisle access and a fully flat bed plus ample personal space including a large meal table, a side table and  several cubby-holes for keeping assorted inflight kit close at hand, plus AC and USB sockets.

There's also a 16 inch touchscreen display...

... which helps travellers manage their journey and, in economy, order drinks.

Also on offer will be satellite-based inflight Internet, which Finnair will make available for free to all passengers in business class, along with Finnair Plus Gold and Platinum frequent flyers and their Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald equivalents (which includes Qantas Gold and Platinum card-holders).

Everybody else will be asked to pay €5 per hour or a more-appealing rate of €15 for the entire flight.

Cool cabin colours

The cabin is decked out in cool muted colours to deliver what Finnair describes as "a fresh and Nordic feel".

Note how the raised lines on the bulkhead mimic the stylised F of the Finnair logo from the A350's tail and raked wingtips...

Finnair has also put together 24 lighting schemes for the Airbus A350's LED cabin lighting "to change the mood of the cabin space as the flight progresses."

This can range from crisp blues...

... to a slightly warmer palette...

... through to a 'sunrise' for early morning arrivals.

“When descending in the East the aircraft can be awash in warm orange tones, or surface interiors may glow in fresh blue hues when arriving in Helsinki" explains designer Vertti Kivi.

Regardless of the lighting, of course, inflight meals will be served with the airline's distinctive Marimekko tableware.

Directly behind business class is the long stretch of the economy cabin.

This begins with five rows of 43 'economy comfort' seats, which are the same seat design and layout as a regular economy seat but with extra legroom, courtesy of a 35 inch pitch versus the tighter 31 inches of economy.

There's also a more comfortable headrest on the seat, while passengers will be handed high-quality headphones and an amenity kit.

Interestingly, this slide from Finnair's Airbus A350 presentation deck reveals that the secondary business class cabin can be converted into an extended economy comfort cabin if required for some routes.

All of the Finnair A350 economy seats use a slim-line Zodiac Z300 design.

Each seat is fitted with an 11 inch touchscreen inflight entertainment system and USB power outlet.

Finnair's A350 delivery schedule sees four aircraft arriving in the second half of 2015 and seven more between 2016 and 2017, by which time the airline will have retired its current fuel-thirsty A340 jets.

A further eight A350s will follow from 2018 through 2023.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

BA Gold

01 Apr 2012

Total posts 191

The seats look great!  But I believe that they have a tighter configuration to CX which use the same seats - 4 inches less than CX when fully reclined.  I've seen an image showing legroom/personal space and it does indeed look tight.  I believe the pitch will be 78" vs CX's 82".  Still a step forward though - direct aisle access and fully flat seats always rank top of my priorities when choosing a carrier.

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1245

Correct. This has been reported on Business Traveller.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

14 Aug 2014

Total posts 2

Im the Project Engineer for this program and was the Lead Design Engineer for CX and AAL (same shells). I can tell you these are a good improvement from CX which is also VERY nice. Im myself dont fit in either being 6'5" 285 lbs but your average non-gargantuant human being will fit fine and be able to get in and out easily. A lot of effort was put into this design for ease of use, functionality, mfg, etc. I know the airlines will be very happy with it. Look for this seat (different theme of colors) in several other customer's aircrafts soon :).

Also, the shell to shell pitch is 42" which does bring these in tighter then the average airline but with the PAX requirement and wit hthe A350 hull design it was necessary.


31 Aug 2013

Total posts 12

Thank you for the insight!

The first thing I noticed on this version is no door for headphone stowage, and other redesigned bits like the magazine rack and side walls/vents, which I think is great cause I've seen all those parts "act up" on CX aircraft from passenger abuse or wear and tear. Looks like this version might be easier to clean and maintain, whcih is good news for everyone.

I never fly J for luxury, I fly it so I don't have to be in constant physical contact with other people, and I pay for direct aisle access. So shorter pitch is fine by me if the fare is right. (who would've thought I'd say that? hehe)

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 340

At 6'5" I think all airplane seats are a squeaze mister ;-)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2012

Total posts 19

Very bland colour scheme! How about a bit of colour??

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

14 Aug 2014

Total posts 2

For this project it is part of a Catalog, first customer to be exact. There are 7 color themes, potential eighth in discussion. This theme was chosen by Finnair specifically. The majority of the shell is actually jana white which is not clearly represented in the picture.

Im the Project Engineer for this program/customer

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 36

I've seen a video on youtube and there really doesn't seem to be much legroom at all once the seat is fully flat.

Also, does anyone know if the Marimekko soft furnishings will be continued to give this cabin a bit of pop colour-wise? Might make the 50 shades of grey a little more bareable. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2014

Total posts 25

Wow! Finnair are really stepping up BC I travelled on their a340 to Helsinki from HK and the legroom in economy was semi spacious. I also travelled from Helsinki to HK and the business class seat was great but the a350 looks fantastic and I look forward to trailing their economy and business! YAY!


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1519

While business looks very attractive, economy looks plainly ugly - imagine spending 10+ hours in those "slim" seats!


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1519

And BTW while new for AY (old for CX) biz seat layout give access to aisle for all passengers (definitelly boon), I am not that fond of it because it getting difficult to look through window. I much prefer current layout found in A330.

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