Wayfarer TV: Finnair’s new Premium Economy cabin set to be a winner on long-haul flights

by James Wilkinson

Finnair has unveiled its eagerly-awaited Premium Economy cabin that the airline’s execs say will offer an appealing new travel option for its long-haul customers.

The new cabin will make its debut, alongside an all-new Business Class and refreshed Economy Class, this northern Spring as part of a €200 million investment in the carrier’s onboard experience.

Finnair Chief Commercial Officer, Ole Orvér, said Finnair’s stylish and spacious Premium Economy cabin will offer a comfortable seating choice that provides approximately 50% more space than Economy Class.

The new cabin class is situated in its own intimate and dedicated cabin with a maximum of just 26 passengers per aircraft and Orvér said the new Premium Economy seat has been optimised for enhanced comfort and ergonomics, featuring memory foam cushions, a deep 8” recline, waterfall leg rest and 6-way headrest.

Dedicated stowage for laptops and small personal items is incorporated to the design so that customers have everything they need at their fingertips throughout their flight, according to the COO.

The seat also features a large and sturdy single leaf meal tray for work and dining, as well as individual reading lights. Customers can keep their devices charged with universal PC power and USB-A ports.

Each seat features a redesigned in-flight entertainment system with 13-inch wide screens to make time onboard fly with blockbuster movies and top TV shows.

Finnair is the launch customer of the ‘Vector’ Premium seat, which is manufactured by HAECO, who also provide heavy maintenance services and are performing the cabin refits for Finnair.

The seat has been heavily customised to Finnair’s exacting specifications and designed in partnership with London based design agency Tangerine.

Premium Economy customers can enjoy two meal services as well as a selection of drinks throughout the flight. A three-course meal will be served on new chinaware designed exclusively for Finnair by top Finnish designer Harri Koskinen and Finnish design icon, Iittala.

There is also a light meal service just before landing, according to the carrier.

Orvér said Finnair has teamed up with renowned Finnish design house Marimekko to bring unique textiles for Premium Economy to complement the warm and inviting onboard atmosphere.

The neck pillow and woven blanket are designed specifically for the new Premium Economy seat to enhance the travel experience and comfort.

“The trend for premium travel has significantly accelerated during the pandemic, so we are confident our new Premium Economy travel class will prove very popular with customers looking for an upgraded experience from Economy,” Orvér said.

Finnair has also invested in a refresh of its long-haul Economy Class, to provide customers with a more restful ambiance for their long-haul flight.

New lighter seats for Finnair’s A330 aircraft and three new A350 aircraft will offer enhanced ergonomics, personal stowage options, USB A and C connectivity and a larger inflight entertainment (IFE) screen with an updated user interface.

The makeover of Finnair’s A350 aircraft in service currently will see their Economy cabins receive new seat covers and an updated IFE user experience to bring them in line with the designs of the new Business and Premium Economy cabins.

Orvér said the launch of the new Premium Economy cabin forms a part of Finnair’s significant €200million investment of all the airline’s long-haul aircraft to enhance the customer experience.

Long-haul flights are key to Finnair’s strategy, with the Finnish carrier specialising in connecting Europe and Asia via the short, fuel-efficient northern route, as well as offering excellent connections to the USA.

In summer 2022, Finnair plans to serve nearly 100 destinations in Europe, Asia and the US including new long-haul routes to Busan, in South Korea, Tokyo Haneda in Japan as well as Dallas and Seattle in the US.