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Earlier today I wrote about Finnair revealing an entirely new Business Class cabin but, arguably, the bigger news of the day was that Finnair has also said that it will be fitting a Premium Economy cabin to all of its long-haul aircraft for the first time in its history.
Finnair’s new Premium Economy cabin
The new Finnair Premium Economy cabin will be fitted to the airline’s A350 and A330 long-haul aircraft during the next two years and upon close inspection, you’ll find that it isn’t too dissimilar to the Premium Economy cabins that you’ll find on the likes of American Airlines and British Airways.
Finnair is part of a transatlantic business venture with American and BA (amongst others) and the airlines are trying to standardize their offerings as much as possible as uniformity in what they offer their customers (from a cabin perspective) is a key ambition for the transatlantic partnership.
The new Finnair Premium Economy cabin offers a maximum of 26 seats which means that allowing for a slightly staggered layout, the cabin won’t have more than 3 rows of seats.
Finnair says that its Premium Economy seat will offer “approximately 50% more space than Economy Class” which, in practice, means that there will be 38″ of seat pitch (legroom) and that passengers will have 8″ of recline.
Finnair hasn’t said how wide these new seats will be but with the Economy Class seats on the airline’s A350s and the A330s already offering seats that are 18″ wide, I doubt that the Premium Economy seats will improve on that by much – BA’s Premium Economy seats in its A350s are 18.5″ wide and that’s how wide the Finnair seats will probably be too.
“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.”
The new Premium Economy seat is also said to feature “a large and sturdy single leaf meal tray” for work and dining, as well as individual reading lights and universal PC powers and USB-A ports to help keep devices charged.
Each seat also offers passengers a new (to Finnair) in-flight entertainment system with 13” wide screens.
From a service standpoint, the airline has confirmed that Premium Economy passengers will be served two meals on all long-haul flights with a 3-course meal as the first service and a lighter meal as the second service…
…and all Premium Economy passengers will be offered a “custom neck pillow and an amenity kit.
Interestingly, Finnair hasn’t mentioned how the incorporation of the new Premium Economy cabin will affect what it offers one cabin back in Economy Class.
On both its A350 and A330 aircraft, Finnair currently offers up to 43 “Economy Comfort” seats (as part of the standard Economy Class cabin) which while no wider than the regular Economy Class seats, offer an impressive 35″ of pitch (legroom).
With these seats currently sitting between the regular Economy Class seats and the Business Class cabin (i.e. where the Premium Economy Cabin will be fitted), it will be interesting to see if the number of Economy Comfort seats is reduced, if they’re removed completely, or if Finnair will simply move them further back and remove a few rows of regular Economy Class seats to make way for the new cabin. Let’s hope it’s the latter.
Finnair has unveiled its new Premium Economy cabin which will go on sale from 1 March 2022. The cabin offers seats that are considerably more spacious than the regular Economy Class seats and a little more spacious than the Economy Comfort seats that Finnair also offers.
The cabin and seats are similar to what a lot of flyers will have already experienced with airlines such as British Airways, American Airlines, and Cathay Pacific so there’s nothing revolutionary to see here, but for those of us who dread Economy Class and who often wince at the cost of Business Class, it’s nice to see Finnair giving us a middle of the road option.