Finnair moves ahead with long-haul upgrade
Published: 13/08/2014 - Filed under: News »
Finnair is aiming to complete the roll-out of its long-haul fully-flat business class seat by the end of 2014.
The Contour Vantage seat in business class was originally announced in 2009 (see news, December 2009). (Note that in January 2012 Contour became part of the Zodiac Aerospace group and in September 2013 became Zodiac Seats UK).
This year, the new seats are on aircraft flying Finnair's Helsinki to Tokyo and Helsinki to New York routes, as well as Beijing and Seoul. Hanoi, Hong Kong, Nagoya, Osaka and Shanghai will be added by October.
The new seats are part of a €29 million (£23.1 million) programme by Finnair to retrofit most of its wide-body fleet of Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft.
The Zodiac Seats UK Vantage provide a fully-flat bed of up to 79 inches long, while shoulder room measures 23 inches. The fully-adjustable seats also come with an individual reading light, adjustable headrest, mood lights and a range of inflight entertainment options.
After the fully-flat retrofit program is complete, all of Finnair's long-haul Airbus fleet will have fully-flat seats in business with the exception of three older aircraft which feature angled lie-flat seating. These aircraft will then be retired as the new A350s come in to the fleet, the first of which is expected in the summer of 2015.
An announcement of the new business class seat on the A350 will be made later today, but it is expected to be the Cirrus seat also on Cathay Pacific, American Airlines and Air France (it is that seat - see news, August 13).
The Finnair Cirrus seat
These Cirrus seats, which are configured 1-2-1 in business class, are the new seats for Finnair's A350 aircraft.
The plan also details the intention of Finnair to adapt the second business class cabin into an Economy Comfort seating product for the summer leisure months, when demand is lower for business class seats — something Air France is planning on its reconfigured B777s (to read a review, click here).
In addition, the carrier has unveiled new Economy Comfort seating which will be retrofitted to the entire long-haul fleet (apart from two A340s that are due to be retired) by the end of 2014.
These will feature:
- Seats with up to four inches more legroom and a comfier headrest
- Up to 40 seats in the front of the economy cabin on all long-haul flights
- High-quality headphones and personal amenity kit
- Priority boarding
superchris - 13/08/2014 08:53
Looks good - but does it warrant 2 separate articles? Also, how is the configuration flexible +/- 10%??
SiteAdministrator - 13/08/2014 08:56
Well it's two different things.
Firstly, they are rolling out one type of fully flat seat on the existing fleet, and then secondly, they have unveiled a completely different seat for the A350.
We mention the second here, but the other article has details, and also the other cabins.
And if you read the other article, you'd understand the + / - 10% !
(It's because the second cabin can be converted from business to economy comfort depending on season.)
JordanD - 14/08/2014 01:18
Tom - you mention the roll out of the retrofit will be by October for routes including Osaka. Any word from Finnair why they are delaying this - their website had originally promised that the roll out for the KIX route would be 01 June. Seems like a rather large missed promise.
SiteAdministrator - 14/08/2014 08:43
Yes, I asked.
It was because this summer one of Finnair's long haul aircraft was "...out of rotation due to an unscheduled maintenance break that was needed, so that impacted our rotation"
Interestingly they were also using one of Lot's B787s for a period....
RitaJuon - 14/08/2014 12:59
What is planned for the Bangkok route?
ADD A COMMENT »