First in Europe with the next-gen aircraft Finnair debuts Airbus A350 XWB to Shanghai

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On November 21, 2015 the first Finnair Airbus A350 XWB will enter into long-haul service on the Finnish airline’s Helsinki-Shanghai route.

The first of Finnair’s next-generation Airbus A350 XWB aircraft has been unveiled in October 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.
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“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 Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “The A350’s unrivalled fuel efficiency and passenger comfort make it the perfect aircraft to spearhead Finnair’s Asian expansion.‎”

For the Airbus A350 Finnair has also released the details on the its with 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 Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair.

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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.

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.

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 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 new A350 aircraft also plays a key role in Finnair’s cargo strategy, providing up to 50% more cargo capacity by 2020.

Finnair flies between Asia, Europe and North America with an emphasis on fast connections via Helsinki, carrying more than nine million passengers annually and connecting 15 cities in Asia with more than 60 destinations in Europe. The airline, a pioneer in sustainable flying, is the European launch customer of the next-generation, eco-smart Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and is the first airline listed in the Leadership Index of the worldwide Carbon Disclosure Project.

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