The first Finnair A350 XWB, the next-generation airliner from Airbus, has been unveiled today at a special delivery ceremony at the delivery centre in Toulouse, France. Finnair is the first European airline to fly the Airbus A350 XWB.
“This moment heralds a new and exciting chapter in Finnair’s 92 year history. The Finnair A350 is the future of flying and will give our passengers a completely new and enhanced travel experience,” said Finnair CEO, Pekka Vauramo.
“This is also a proud moment for all Finnair employees who have worked relentlessly on the Finnair A350 programme. From route planning to pilots and cabin crew, from technical services to marketing, this is the moment we have worked for. With the A350, we get the fleet that our strategy requires, and we can start building our growth,” Vauramo continued.
“At Airbus, we’re proud and delighted to see Finnair, one of the world’s longest-standing and most respected airlines, become the first European carrier to fly the A350,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “The A350’s unrivalled fuel efficiency and passenger comfort make it the perfect aircraft to spearhead Finnair’s Asian expansion.”
Finnair intends to double its Asian traffic by 2020 from the 2010 baseline, and the A350 fleet investment is the backbone of this strategy. The company has ordered a total of 19 A350’s, making it the biggest investment in Finnair’s history. The first four aircraft are expected to arrive in the fleet in 2015, with another seven being delivered in 2016 and 2017. The complete order will be fulfilled by 2023.
The new A350 aircraft also plays a key role in Finnair’s cargo strategy, providing up to 50 per cent more cargo capacity by 2020.
Finnair’s Airbus A350 aircraft offer state of the art Nordic Sky entertainment system and Wi-Fi to keep passengers better connected and more entertained during their journey. There is an improved range of entertainment options for a more enjoyable and peaceful flight.
“The new A350 is the future of flying and we want to give Finnair passengers a unique Nordic experience in this aircraft. Finnair’s Nordic Sky entertainment system is the ultimate travel companion and revolutionises the in-flight experience by providing innovative digital services for every step of the journey,” says Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair.
Nordic Sky’s unique flight programme, displayed on 16 inch touch screens in Business class and on 11 inches in Economy class, shows the main stages of the flight, guiding passengers from departure throughout all stages of their journey, informing them in advance when meals will be served, when rest lighting will be activated, and when passengers can make purchases from the in-flight shopping service. This enables passengers to manage their time on-board effectively.
The on-screen display shows the time of day in both destinations to help passengers adapt to the time zone of their destination to help them feel more relaxed and refreshed on arrival. The system is highly sophisticated, yet its functional design and Nordic simplicity make it extremely easy to use and navigate. Simple information including what time meals will be served appear on the route screen – such a simple thing but something we’re sure all airlines should provide.
Finnair has increased its content offering so passengers can now watch even more Hollywood blockbusters and classic movies. Finnair is also proud to introduce unique branded channels on the Finnair A350 XWB, including the best programmes from the BBC, the National Geographic Channel and the Discovery Channel. The Peace of Mind Channel eases passengers into a calm and relaxing flight.
The Nordic Sky entertainment system is also a central part of the cabin’s interior design. The display screen’s ambient mood lighting works in harmony with the award winning cabin lighting for a cohesive lighting experience, by gradually adjusting according to the time of day to create appropriately dimmer lighting during sleep and rest times.
The on board Wi-Fi portal, which can be accessed with passengers’ own devices, gives all passengers access to finnair.com and Finnair services such as destination information, customer care and pre-order shopping. Full internet access can be purchased via the Wi-Fi portal or by using an internet voucher code. Full internet access – which is free in Business class and for Finnair Plus Gold and Platinum members and oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members – costs 5 euros for 1 hour, or 15 euros for the entire flight in economy.
Music playlists have been created exclusively for Finnair by MixRadio, the global music streaming service. An international team of music experts have created bespoke playlists for every long haul destination featuring the most exciting local music both new and old, to give passengers an audio flavour of the city before landing. Other playlists – combining the best in classical, lounge, soul and chilled sounds – are designed to give passengers peace of mind. Business class passengers can enjoy a good listening experience, while blocking out unwanted sounds, with the high quality Bose noise cancelling headphones.
Cabin crew announcements – available in seven languages – appear at the top of the display screen, causing minimal disruption to the passenger by reducing the number of audio announcements. The cabin crew can update all flight events – such as the flight schedule and the food menu – in real time.
The A350’s first scheduled commercial flight, from Helsinki to Amsterdam and Oslo will be on the 9th October, 2015 as part of its crew familiarisation tour. The first Finnair Airbus A350 XWB will enter into long-haul service on the 21st November, 2015 on Finnair’s Helsinki-Shanghai route.