This review is based on the flight taken by the writer from Helsinki to Hong Kong (AY069) on 2nd September 2016.
Finnair operates the brand new A350 aircraft between Hong Kong & Helsinki on a daily basis & was the first European airline to operate the new aircraft. The A350 is the first aircraft to be primarily made from carbon fibre, the lighter structure gives airlines a fuel saving of around 25% due to the lighter material. Flyer via Helsinki to European ports gives you the fastest overall flight time of any connecting flight & is around 5 hours quicker than going via the Middle East.
As I was transferring from a Finnair short haul flight, my bags were checked through to Hong Kong. I had to pass through a security check point (I used the e gates as I have an EU biometric passport) – this was very simple to use & after 5 minutes walk I has reached the Finnair business class lounge. Helsinki airport is very compact by international standards & by 10pm the place is pretty much deserted as there are only a couple of international flights that depart in the late evening. It's actually a very odd experience compared to the hustle & bustle of Heathrow of HKIA.
Finnair has a large business class lounge located very close to the departure gates for most long haul flights. Although the lounge can get quite busy during the day, by 9pm it's very quiet, there were maybe 20 people in the lounge when I arrived. The lounge itself has a good choice of seating, including lounge chairs if you wished to have a quick snooze between flights. The food & drinks selection is good & they even has a bar set up with a lady giving advice on the best cocktails & wine.
Business class Seat
Finnair has opted for the 1-2-1 business class configuration in the reverse herringbone configuration. The beds itself is almost identical to the new CX business class product, Its 6`7 flat bed & everyone enjoys individual aisle access. Finnair also has some extra benefits include Bose noise cancelling headphones (that they let you keep until the end of the flight) & a snazzy pair of slippers & wash bag designed by Finnish fashion house, Marimekko.
Service + Food
The business class service on all 4 of my Finnair flights was faultless. The cabin crew was very attentive, friendly & professional. I was particularly impressed who the CSD came & introduced herself to every business class passenger & asked how the flight went. Great touch.
The food was very good. I was particularly impressed by the catering especially on Finnair's short haul business class flights. A full 3-course meal, including Champagne & some high-end spirits were all available.
Finnair is a fantastic option for anyone who is looking for a quality One World offering to Europe. Flying via Helsinki offers the fastest connection to many European ports. The bed is very comfortable & blows many most other European airlines out of the water. I will be back on Finnair very soon!
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