New Nordic design for Finnair

5 Dec 2017 by Tom Otley

Finnair is rolling out a new design in its business class cabins.

New cabin textiles and amenities, including new seat covers, and pillows, blankets and chinaware with prints from the iconic Finnish design house Marimekko are all being introduced from February 2018.

The new designs aim to reflect Nordic interiors and landscapes according to David Kondo, Head of Cabin Interior Development at Finnair.

“We are aiming to bring a slice of the Nordics to the aircraft cabin.” he told Business Traveller in Helsinki at the airline’s annual media day. The airline is doing so by drawing on “two major themes”, he said.

“One is the Nordic interior world, and the other is landscapes, since nature is a big part of our brand,” Kondo said.

“Our new seat textiles and comfort amenities have a fresh and modern aesthetic that is inspired by Nordic homes and landscapes. So from the interiors we have a clean and minimalist feel, while the landscapes are grey and white, not just from the snow but even from the birch trees. There is also inspiration from the Nordic light, as the seasons change.”


“As designers we talk about “scans”,” said Kondo, “So the first scan is the first impression of the cabin. Our lives are busy and our time is limited, and the time flying is time just for you, so the aim is for the cabin to be very calm and understated.”

“The second scan is to find your particular seat and get used to this being the space you will be in, and the design of that seat. And then there is the third scan, which is when you begin to appreciate the details, for instance, the seat covers are grey, but also have elements of the Nordic light so you’ll find touches of pink and orange in the fabric.”

The new designs see new seat covers and also new Marimekko items with the green patterned cushions to be replaced by a deep blue cushion with a “well” pattern

“In the ’60s, Maija Isola created many of her best-known Marimekko prints such as Lokki (seagull) and Kaivo (well).” Kondo said,

“We have chosen Kaivo which dates from 1961.”

“The design came from when Maija was getting water from the well, and she dropped the bucket. The rings she saw from this accident were the inspiration for the design. We have this famous pattern, and the colourways and the way we use them are special to us.”


The amenity kits the 11th different design since the partnership with Marimekko started in 2012. The new one is at the front. The ones behind are some of the previous kits

The new amenity bag design is reflected in some of the tableware including the coffee mug. Future plans include probably introducing a rice bowl alongside the newdesign for the coffee cups (also in the “well” pattern).

In addition to the new Nordic designs, Finnair’s new service concept will offer a wider range of dining and wine options, served on-demand.

It is also introducing the Finnish tradition of “Kahvikutsut”  – a coffee serving with seven different treats – for long-haul flights departing Asia in the morning. This coffee service includes traditional Finnish treats like Carelian pies, cinnamon buns, coffee cake and Finnish chocolates between the two meal services.

In addition, the airline is introducing a new menu from Swedish chef Tommy Myllymäki who is the creative director for five Stockholm restaurants. Myllymäki will design menus for Finnair’s business class, and his winter menu will be served on all Finnair long-haul flights departing from Helsinki from February 2018.

The winter menu has dishes such as Jerusalem artichoke with cep mushrooms and pear, and braised ox with celeriac and kale. The summer menu will have more emphasis on seasonal, crisp fresh vegetables to celebrate the freshness of the Nordic summer.

The economy class menu has been designed by the Culinary Team of Finland which represents Finland in international culinary competitions. The meals will feature a marinated potato salad, lamb with oven baked turnips, and a cheese curd cake. The winter menu will be followed by seasonal menus for summer and autumn.

The new services  will commence from February 7, 2018, on flights to Seoul, Tokyo and Shanghai, with a gradual roll-out of the remaining long-haul destinations during the spring and summer.

Finnair Nordic Business Class
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