Finnair moves ahead with long-haul upgrade

13 Aug 2014 by Tom Otley

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.

Finnair business class fully flat

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).

Finnair A350 business class

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.

A seatmap was posted as part of Finnair's Capital Markets Day earlier this year and shown on Flyertalk here.

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

Tom Otley

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