There is a lot going on at Finnair during autumn and winter. Not only the new ‘Sky Bistro’, which will be introduced in Economy Class within Europe, but there are also changes on board long-haul flights. We received an excellent overview from Maarit Keränen, Head of Service Concept at Finnair, who is responsible for everything that is offered on board.
Free sparkling wine and new snacks in Economy Class on long-haul flights
A nice novelty is that sparkling wine will be introduced as a new beverage aboard economy class long-haul flights. It is currently possible to buy champagne from the service cart, but the sparkling wine will be offered for free. According to Finnair, it will be a ‘Prosecco’ that will be served. Beer, red and white wine will also be offered for free, as before.
A mid-flight snack will be introduced on long-haul flights, between regular meals, and included in the ticket price. This will vary slightly depending on the route and time of day and may consist of a sandwich or noodles.
There will also be a new selection of wine in economy class, and Finnair will start serving wine from bottles instead of offering miniature bottles. This is because they think it is more elegant and it also saves on some weight.
Finnair have also revealed that a new range of meals will be introduced in economy class, in January 2015.
Sky Bistro – New concept in economy class on European flights
In the Autumn, Finnair will introduce their new service concept in economy class, called ‘Sky Bistro’. This means that the snacks which were previously served on European flights with a flight time of over two hours, are to be replaced with a café cart. In addition, there will be the opportunity to pre-order food, as well as sandwiches, cold snacks and hot dishes.
Ordering is done online, via the Finnair website, where you can order anything from the fairly extensive menu. There will also be a smaller assortment for sale on board, including a sandwich that varies from week to week, among the nine others available.
Complimentary coffee, tea, water and blueberry juice will continue to be served on all flights in economy class.
More info about Sky Bistro is available in this article.
Changes in service in business class
There will also be some changes in business class. New menus have been developed together with several famous Finnish chefs, as well as a new cocktail list.
On long-haul flights, a modified meal will be introduced in business class, which will be ‘on demand’, i.e. a choice of meal which you can then decide when you will to eat.
Attentive travellers may have noticed that there have recently been some changes in the range of drinks on board. For example, Finnair has changed their champagne from Joseph Perrier (offered for decades) to Nicholas Feuillate. The explanation for this is that Finnair has a new wine and beverage manager who has conducted a comprehensive review of the beverages offered on board. They are also the person responsible for the new concepts in economy class, including the new wine range and complimentary sparkling wine.
No major changes will be made in business class within Europe and hot food will continue to be offered on longer flights. The studies which Finnair have done, show that most people are very satisfied with the services that are currently offered and will therefore be continued. There are also no plans to introduce a second choice of main course.
Any plans to abolish business class within Europe are not in accordance with Finnair’s plans, and perhaps the main reason for this is the significant transfer traffic. A high number of passengers travelling within Europe are travelling on to Asia and it would simply be too great a difference to have business class on long-haul flights and a simpler premium economy (or similar) on European flights.
Porcelain and textiles from Marimekko
Earlier this year, Finnair launched a collaboration with design house Marimekko. Two aircraft were adorned with Marimekko’s design, including an Airbus A340, with Maija Isola’s famous flower design from 1964. There will also be some collaboration on board, where Finnair will use porcelain and textiles designed by Marimekko.
Not all crockery is in place yet, but Finnair hopes that the entire porcelain series will on board by early 2015. Until that time, we will have to make do with a few pictures of what to expect.
Wine glasses, to be or not to be in business class
We also asked what Finnair’s position was on having wine glasses on board. As of today, there are only two types of glasses in business class – a taller variety (as seen in the picture above), used for all meal drinks, as well as a smaller glass, used, for example, for liqueurs. The glasses are from Iittala and are of the Ultima Thule model, originally designed by Tapio Wirkkala for Finnair in 1968. Not all glasses are of this design, and instead a taller glass is used for wine and champagne, which several passengers have remarked on.
We asked Maarit Keränen about this and she was well acquainted with the situation. Apparently there are no good wine glasses in the Ultima Thule series, only glasses that have a fairly narrow foot, making it impractical and cumbersome to use on an aircraft environment where there may be turbulence. Finnair therefore chose not to purchase the wine glass. Discussions are underway to possibly bring in another wine glass (and maybe even a champagne glass) from another series, but the opinions in Finnair are split and a decision has yet been made.