Finnair’s first Airbus A350 to fly October 7

Finnair's first Airbus A350 to fly October 7

  • Finnair Airbus A350 ‘familiarisation flights’ in Europe from October
  • First long-range Finnair A350 international route to Shanghai in November 21
  • Next Finnair A350s to New York, Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore

Finnair will take delivery of its first Airbus A350 on October 7, with flights on selected European routes – beginning with Amsterdam and Oslo from October 9 – before switching the advanced jet onto its Shanghai schedule from November 21, one month later than previously planned.

New York will follow later in the year, making Finnair the first airline in the world to fly the A350 to the USA.

Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore are also on Finnair’s A350 route map, although launch dates have been pushed back from Finnair’s previously-published roster “due to changes in the expected delivery schedules of the company’s first A350 aircraft, the needs of the crew familiarisation program, and other operational factors” the airline said in a statement released today.

“The company wants to offer the best possible customer experience for its customers, and has therefore adopted a slightly more conservative launch schedule than previously indicated.”

London, Frankfurt, Hamburg,  Stockholm, Copenhagen, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Vienna should all see the A350 slotting into onto Finnair’s regular schedules from mid-October to late November as ‘crew familiarisation flights’.

The full list of planned A350 familiarisation flights to some 15 European cities is available at a350.finnair.com, although the airline notes that “all such flights are subject to changes.”

The roadshow is intended to let Finnair trumpet its status as the first European airline to take delivery of the Airbus A350, after Qatar Airways and Vietnam Airlines.

Finnair’s A350 delivery schedule sees four aircraft arriving in the second half of 2015 and seven more between 2016 and 2017, by which time the airline will have retired its current fuel-thirsty A340 jets. A further eight A350s will follow from 2018 through 2023.

Finnair’s A350 fleet will sport 46 business class seats using the popular Zodiac Cirrus design best known as the business class seat of Cathay Pacific, as well as American Airlines and Air France

This will give each traveller direct aisle access and a fully flat bed, along with a large meal table and plenty of space for keeping their inflight stuff close at hand.

The third-gen Cirrus III seat also has a 16 inch touchscreen display plus AC and USB power sockets.

Finnair’s A350s will also be fitted with inflight Internet in the first step towards a fleet-wide upgrade which will see all of the Finnish airline’s jets set for sky-high surfing by 2018.

 

Australian Aviation

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