It’s a known fact that the Scandinavian countries care for their environment, on both a literal and personal level. Finland is no exception. This is why it’s no surprise that Finnair has recently ordered 11 brand new Airbus A350 XWB aircrafts. Now, some might wonder why this is such a special announcement, and the question is absolutely legitimate. But, what one needs to fully comprehend is that the new A350 XWB is going to change the passenger’s experience on-board and Finnair is pioneering its introduction into the European market.
The new Airbus A350 XWB is a plane worth talking about. With its expanded, “extra-wide” body and features like: an advanced pure air filtration system which refreshes cabin air every two to three minutes, lower cabin pressure, 25% less fuel consumption than a Boeing 777, 16-inch touch screen entertainment systems, more headroom, panoramic windows and a lower maintenance aircraft body composed of titanium, aluminum alloys and carbon fiber reinforced plastic, it’s no wonder it was an attractive choice for Finnair’s planned expansion. The aircraft is overall easier to maintain, healthier for passengers and can handle a long-haul flight up to 8,500 nautical miles – or Helsinki to Bangkok.
The Airbus A350 XWB and its advanced features are only half of the celebration. What Finnair has decided to implement inside the cabin is as equally exciting. Designed by top Finnish design firm, dSign Vertti Kivi & Co., lead by designer Vertti Kivi, the planned interior inside the new Airbus order is stunning. Focusing on a bright and light color pallet, Mr. Kivi held fast to what makes Finnair uniquely Finnish – highlighting the nuances which make all the difference. Passengers on the new planes will find dynamic lighting reflecting the famed Northern Lights. Throughout the flight, LED lights will gently fade from orange to pink to blue. Attention is in the details. There will be 297 seats on-board with 46 seats in business class and 43 economy comfort seats. Of course, Marimekko was commissioned to continue their partnership with Finnair through unique textiles and amenity kits provided to passengers during the flight.
We had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Kivi, the aircraft’s interior designer, and it was clear Finnair’s reputation and integration into local Finnish culture has manifested itself into an ideal working relationship for him.
IC: What was your inspiration in designing Finnair’s new Airbus A350 XWB aircrafts?
VK: For me, it is all about emotions. How do I make something new and interesting, something people can connect to. This was my thinking when conceptualizing the new design.
IC: What will passengers recognize as typically Finnish in design, on-board?
VK: The design is functional. It’s simple and calm, very high-quality. The light on board is very nordic and evokes a mood for people, we will also introduce new graphics and logo for Finnair.
IC: What new changes will we see on the aircraft?
VK: Possible Wifi on-board could be an option and we are also considering iPads and IFC entertainment systems.
IC: What does good design accomplish in your eyes?
VK: It’s about the vertical surfaces, the moods, the attention to everything from the floors to the walls and the ceiling.
IC: What does working with Finnair mean to you?
VK: I have loved Finnair since I was a young boy and I could have never dreamed that this would be happening. It’s the highest place for design, up in the air, and there are different challenges. But, it’s been a great working relationship. I suggest ideas, they listen and we work together.