Last November I joined a press trip to Helsinki celebrating the Airbus A350 XWB flying from London Heathrow to Finland’s capital. What made my flight even more exciting was that I flew Business Class! During my flight I had the chance to learn more about the new Finnair aircraft and experience all of its superb features.
The Airbus A350 XWB (Extra Wide Body) is a new kind of aircraft which substantially raises the bar for passenger comfort and environmental performance. Finnair is the first European airline to fly the A350 from Helsinki to London, Brussels and several cities in Asia such as Hong Kong , Singapore , Osaka and Shanghai.
I’ve only ever flown Business Class on two occasions (the first time was with Malaysia Airlines two years ago), so I still get very excited if my seat turns into a fully-flat bed or I have spacious compartments to store all my belongings, plus designer amenities, in-flight entertainment and fine dining meals. Not to mention the perks of Business Class lounges (which at Helsinki Airport features a sauna and GoSleep sleeping pods)!
Aside from the obvious comforts of Business Class, I loved the A350 because it’s more spacious, brighter, quieter and with better air quality than any other plane I’ve ever flown on. Here are the 7 reasons why I loved about flying on Finnair A350.
The A350’s fuselage is 6 metres wide, providing the widest economy seats (46 cm) of any jetliner in its category. Finnair passengers get more personal space and more cabin storage, both in Business and Economy.
The A350 is 20% quieter than current-generation aircrafts and up to 16 decibels below the current standard requirement. Quite amazing, isn’t it? This is thanks to its state-of-the-art Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines which reduce noise both inside and outside of the plane (and are also fuel-efficient).
You really notice the difference when you fly the A350, especially during takeoff and landing. You can hear it in my video at the bottom of this post! It certainly creates a nicer and more relaxing flight experience.
An advanced HEPA filtering system changes the cabin air every two to three minutes, meaning the air inside the plane is fresher and better for you. You never get the feeling of breathing stale and recycled air as usually it happens on planes.
I have also read that the A350’s improved air management makes a big difference to your health and skin during long-haul flights and it makes passengers feel less jet-lagged.
Finnair A350 aircrafts feature the latest LED lighting technology which can emit a colour range of up to 16.8 million different colours. The cabin lighting and colours can be customised to fit the time of day, destination or season.
Lighting can be programmed to create 24 different scenarios, but my favourite has to be the Northern Lights! Just before landing, light flows of yellow, blue and green colours were displayed on the ceiling creating the effect of the Aurora Borealis. Watch my YouTube video to catch Finnair’s Aurora Borealis light show!
The A350 aircraft also features large panoramic view windows which let natural light flow into the cabin.
Finnair offers a carefully selected menu inspired by fresh Nordic flavours and traditional Finnish dishes on Business Class. On my short-haul flight from London Heathrow to Helsinki I was served a delicious 3-course meal with a cold starter, hot meal and dessert.
Meals can be pre-ordered on intercontinental flights departing from Helsinki and are always complemented with carefully selected high-quality wines.
Nice touches: Finland’s most beloved glassware brand Iittala is used onboard Finnair’s flights throughout the world. The exclusive collection of tableware and textiles on Business Class flights is by Marimekko.
The A350 offers 25% better fuel efficiency compared to current-generation aircrafts. This amazing feat is due to a decrease in weight enabled by using lightweight carbon fibre composites, refined aerodynamics and new engines.
As we all know, travelling by plane contributes to the rise of greenhouse gas emissions, so I am happy to support a technology that has a lower impact on climate change.
Last but not least, a special mention goes to the fantastic Finnair crew which provided a friendly, attentive and swift service throughout the flight.
I hope you enjoyed this post! I had a fantastic experience flying Business Class on Finnair Airbus A350 XWB. Watch my YouTube video to see how it feels to be on board!
Finnair’s A350 flies from London Heathrow to Helsinki five times a week with fares starting from £155 return per person in Economy Class including all taxes and charges. To book visit http://www.finnair.com or call 0208 0 010101
Disclaimer: my flight was sponsored by Finnair as part of a press trip to Helsinki. All opinions are my own.