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Globe Trotting: Tradition Meets Modernity. How Finnair Captured its Country’s Identity On Board Their New A350

Feb

8

2017

by Panasonic Avionics / in Industry

GLOBE TROTTING

Tradition Meets Modernity. How Finnair Captured its Country’s Identity On Board Their New A350

The rise of Finland from an agrarian society to one of the high-tech and innovation leaders in the world has many of its roots along the deep green forests, the rolling hills and the glittering lakes that cover most of central Finland. This is where industries found rivers and lakes for transportation. This is where rapids provided the power. This is where, in recent years, those industries have been most affected by the structural changes in the Finnish economy.

Finns are a mixture of tribes, still very much visible in the nation’s everyday life. People still embrace the centuries old mythical stories of their origins but – equal to none – Finland has kept true to their roots while evolving its identity to one that’s known and appreciated far beyond its borders.

Finnish design has long received praise for its simplicity and modernity — a unique style marked by muted colors, clean lines and seamless integration of technology.

With the help of Helsinki-based interior-architecture firm dSign Vertti Kivi & Co, Finnair has set itself apart by importing some of these minimalist design features into the cabin of its extra-wide body A350s. No detail went unexamined. From the pops of color courtesy of Finnish textile maker Marimekko, to the LED mood lighting that can simulate sunrises, sunsets, various cloud formations and even the aurora borealis.

For its design, as well as its excellence in providing passenger comfort in both cabin classes, the airline won the prestigious International Yacht & Aviation Award in 2015.

Finnish design has long received praise for its simplicity and modernity — a unique style marked by muted colors, clean lines and seamless integration of technology.

Tiina Vesterinen, Finnair’s director of customer experience development, says the idea for an interior design that put the Nordic experience front and center was years in the making.

“We [the Finnish] consider ourselves to be forerunners in tech and digital, and our passengers expect that from us,” says Vesterinen. “For our Finnish customers, we want them to have the experience of coming back home. For many of our long-haul passengers coming from Asia, Europe or North America, they may not be as familiar with the Nordic experience, so we want to do our best to introduce them to the Nordic way.”

The LED lighting system can display 16.8 million different color schemes, and can be customized to fit destination or season. In doing so, the mood and atmosphere eases customers on long-haul journeys that cross into different time zones and places on the planet.

Finnair’s focus on design extends beyond the airplane cabin. The Finnair lounges at Helsinki airport were designed to create a dynamic and tranquil experience for its passengers before they fly out to their destinations.

Vesterinen says the design concept is just one part of Finnair’s commitment to providing a unique, enjoyable — and perhaps most of all, seamless — passenger experience.

“The customer experience of flying with Finnair is unlike any other,” she says. “We have put a lot of focus on the service concept, by having knowledgeable and friendly personnel in every department and with product innovation to create a quality experience. The journey begins when a customer is reading about the trip on our website and award-winning mobile app. It continues when a passenger arrives at the airport, and is highlighted the most when a passenger steps on board.”

Finnair’s A350 XWB aircraft feature a number of elements that substantially raise the bar on passenger comfort and environmental performance, including full-flat seats in business class, to 11-inch high-definition screens for each seat, to an advanced HEPA air-filtration system. Additional leg room, owed to the removal of the IFE box from underneath the seat, gives the airline a new way to please its customers.

The new A350 XWBs offer a remarkably quiet ride, due in large part to the ultra-advanced engines developed by luxury carmaker Rolls Royce. These engines have reduced noise levels to 16 decibels below the standard worldwide requirement. The company proudly made that one of their claims in one of their latest ads: “900 km/h and the loudest noise in the cabin is the clinking of ice cubes.”

Finnair's A350 XWB aircraft feature a number of elements that substantially raise the bar on passenger comfort and environmental performance, including full-flat seats in business class, to 11-inch high-definition screens for each seat, to an advanced HEPA air-filtration system.

Finnair aircraft went the extra mile with their connectivity and inflight entertainment specifically on their A350 fleet, loading it with a sheer endless range of unique functionality. One of the highlights includes the airshow system with flight cameras on the tail and the wings. Offering their passengers a fully connected and highly responsive onboard experience has earned the airline many positive reviews on internet blogs and consumer review pages.

“It’s important to have the modern IFE and connectivity to make the customer experience unlike any other — to make them loyal fans of Finnair, and to fly over and over again with our airline,” Vesterinen says. “Designing the digital with that in mind has been just as important as the color and style design of the cabin. Working with our partners and having a collaborative effort has been a crucial component to our success.”

Finnair currently has 7 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft in operation, with flights to Beijing, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, London and Shanghai. In the spring, the airline will begin flying direct to San Francisco with A330’s.