Finnair unveils new business class seat with no recline

Finnair has unveiled a new design of business class seat with no recline, along with new business class and premium economy cabins as part of a €200 million investment.

The new seat and cabins will be rolled out from this month along with enhancements to the economy cabin of Finnair’s long-haul Airbus A350 and A330 fleet, with the refit scheduled to take two years.

Finnair’s new AirLounge seat “takes inspiration from lounge furniture” in order “to maximise comfort, space and freedom to move” on a long-haul flight, according to the carrier.

The seat has a fixed, contoured shell with no recline but allows a variety of sitting and sleeping positions.

The first routes on sale with the new seat and cabins will be announced on March 1.

Finnair chief executive Topi Manner said: “The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on our industry, but it has not changed our ambition to offer a modern premium experience as the first choice for travellers connecting Europe and Asia.”

Chief commercial officer Ole Orvér said: “Space is today’s luxury, and we have put a lot of thought and attention to detail into creating the best business class seat for our customers.”

“Both the seat and the whole business class experience is centered around customer comfort, space, and choice and is the culmination of our design ethos which will appear throughout our long-haul aircraft to redefine premium travel.”

The AirLounge seat was conceived by PriestmanGoode of London and developed by Finnair in collaboration with Collins Aerospace.

David Kondo of Finnair’s customer experience team, who led the design work, said: “We wanted to create more of a residential environment.

“By doing away with complicated seat mechanisms and using 3D curved shells, we’re able to provide a larger flexible living space. This allows you to move more freely and take up different positions that traditional aircraft seats do not allow.”

The carrier’s business class cabin will also offer a range of new features including designer crockery, bedding and blankets.

Finnair’s new premium economy cabin will be installed on all long-haul aircraft for the first time, seating up to 26 passengers and offering about 50% more space than economy.

Features include an eight-inch recline, redesigned in-flight entertainment system with 13-inch screen and PC power and USB-A ports.

Orvér said: “Premium leisure is a trend that has significantly accelerated during the pandemic.”

The long-haul economy class refresh includes new, lighter seats and larger inflight entertainment screens with an updated user interface on Finnair’s A330 aircraft and three new A350s. The carrier’s existing A350s will have new seat covers and an updated IFE experience.

Finnair will operate to almost 100 destinations in Europe, Asia and the US this summer, including on new routes to Busan in South Korea, Tokyo Haneda. Dallas and Seattle.

The carrier focuses on long-haul services between Europe and Asia with a shorter flying time than rival carriers thanks to Finland’s location.

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