- 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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