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Finnair becomes the first European airline to receive its first Airbus A350 XWB

The A350's first scheduled commercial flight, from Helsinki to Amsterdam and Oslo will be on October 9, 2015 as part of its crew familiarisation tour. The first Finnair Airbus A350 XWB will enter into long-haul service on November 21, 2015 on Finnair's Helsinki-Shanghai route.

The first of Finnair‘s next-generation Airbus A350 XWB aircraft has been unveiled today at a special delivery ceremony at the Airbus delivery centre in Toulouse, France. Finnair is the first European airline to fly the Airbus A350 XWB.

“This moment heralds a new and exciting chapter in Finnair’s 92 year history. The A350 is the future of flying and will give our passengers a completely new and enhanced travel experience,” said Finnair CEO, Pekka Vauramo.

“This is also a proud moment for all Finnair employees who have worked relentlessly on the Finnair A350 programme. From route planning to pilots and cabin crew, from technical services to marketing, this is the moment we have worked for. With the A350, we get the fleet that our strategy requires, and we can start building our growth,” Vauramo continued.

“At Airbus, we’re proud and delighted to see Finnair, one of the world’s longest-standing and most respected airlines, become the first European carrier to fly the A350,” said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus President and CEO. “The A350’s unrivalled fuel efficiency and passenger comfort make it the perfect aircraft to spearhead Finnair’s Asian expansion.?”

Finnair intends to double its Asian traffic by 2020 from the 2010 baseline, and the A350 fleet investment is the backbone of this strategy. The company has ordered a total of 19 A350’s, making it the biggest investment in Finnair’s history. The first four aircraft are expected to arrive in the fleet in 2015, with another seven being delivered in 2016 and 2017. The complete order will be fulfilled by 2023.

The A350’s first scheduled commercial flight, from Helsinki to Amsterdam and Oslo will be on October 9, 2015 as part of its crew familiarisation tour. The first Finnair Airbus A350 XWB will enter into long-haul service on November 21, 2015 on Finnair’s Helsinki-Shanghai route.

A world class entertainment system and Wi-Fi will keep passengers more entertained and better connected
Finnair’s Airbus A350 XWB’s state of the art Nordic Sky entertainment system and Wi-Fi keeps passengers better connected and more entertained during their journey with an improved range of entertainment options for a more enjoyable and peaceful flight.

“The new A350 is the future of flying and we want to give Finnair passengers a unique Nordic experience in this aircraft. Finnair’s Nordic Sky entertainment system is the ultimate travel companion and revolutionises the in-flight experience by providing innovative digital services for every step of the journey,” says Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair.

Nordic Sky’s unique flight programme, displayed on 16 inch touch screens in Business class and on 11 inches in Economy class, shows the main stages of the flight, guiding passengers from departure throughout all stages of their journey, informing them in advance when meals will be served, when rest lighting will be activated, and when passengers can make purchases from the in-flight shopping service. This enables passengers to manage their time on-board effectively.

The on-screen display shows the time of day in both destinations to help passengers adapt to the time zone of their destination to help them feel more relaxed and refreshed on arrival. The system is highly sophisticated, yet its functional design and Nordic simplicity make it extremely easy to use and navigate.

Finnair has increased its content offering so passengers can now watch even more Hollywood blockbusters and classic movies. Finnair is also proud to introduce unique branded channels on the A350 XWB, including the best programmes from the BBC, the National Geographic Channel and the Discovery Channel. The Peace of Mind Channel eases passengers into a calm and relaxing flight.

The Nordic Sky entertainment system is also a central part of the cabin’s interior design. The display screen’s ambient mood lighting works in harmony with the award winning cabin lighting for a cohesive lighting experience, by gradually adjusting according to the time of day to create appropriately dimmer lighting during sleep and rest times.

The on board Wi-Fi portal, which can be accessed with passengers’ own devices, gives all passengers access to finnair.com and Finnair services such as destination information, customer care and pre-order shopping. Full internet access can be purchased via the Wi-Fi portal or by using an internet voucher code. Full internet access – which is free in Business class and for Finnair Plus Gold and Platinum members and oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members – costs 5 euros for 1 hour, or 15 euros for the entire flight in economy.

Music playlists have been created exclusively for Finnair by MixRadio, the global music streaming service. An international team of music experts have created bespoke playlists for every long haul destination featuring the most exciting local music both new and old, to give passengers an audio flavour of the city before landing. Other playlists – combining the best in classical, lounge, soul and chilled sounds – are designed to give passengers peace of mind. Business class passengers can enjoy a good listening experience, while blocking out unwanted sounds, with the high quality Bose noise cancelling headphones.

Cabin crew announcements – available in seven languages – appear at the top of the display screen, causing minimal disruption to the passenger by reducing the number of audio announcements. The cabin crew can update all flight events – such as the flight schedule and the food menu – in real time.

The Nordic Sky entertainment system will have full functionality as of November 21, 2015 when the first Finnair Airbus A350 XWB begins operating between Helsinki and Shanghai.

Finnair expands its Asian network, opens routes to Fukuoka and Guangzhou in summer 2016
Finnair continues to expand its Asian traffic, opening two Asian destinations, Fukuoka in Japan and Guangzhou in China for the summer season, 2016.

“We intend to double our Asian traffic by 2020 from the 2010 baseline, and these new destinations are an important step towards this target,” says Pekka Vauramo, Finnair President and CEO. “We have a long tradition of connecting Asia and Europe with smooth fast connections via our Helsinki hub, and I look forward to expanding our network to these two exciting markets.”

Finnair will open a direct route to Fukuoka in southern Japan in spring 2016, with three weekly frequencies. The service to Fukuoka makes Finnair the only European airline to operate to four different cities in Japan – Finnair currently offers daily connections to Tokyo Narita, Nagoya and Osaka.

Fukuoka is one of the largest cities in Japan. Besides being a multicultural metropolis and an important trade city, Fukuoka offers warm weather, rich history, architecture, art, shopping and cuisine, attracting visitors from all over Europe. The service to Fukuoka is part of the joint business between Finnair, British Airways and Japan Airlines, which enables offering more connections and flexibility for the airlines’ customers in traffic between Japan and Europe.

Finnair will also open a direct route to China, and will fly direct from its Helsinki hub to Guangzhou in China with four weekly frequencies between May 6 and October 29, 2016. Guangzhou is the third largest city in China, with a population of 13 million. It is a major trade and transportation center, and the main manufacturing hub in one of mainland China’s leading commercial and manufacturing regions.

Guangzhou is Finnair’s sixth destination in Greater China. Finnair has year-round services to Beijing, Chongqing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and a summer service to Xi’an.

Both destinations will be served with Finnair’s Airbus A330 aircraft. Finnair connects Fukuoka and Guangzhou to over 60 destinations via its Helsinki hub, with timetables designed for transfer traffic.

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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