Nordic Freedom vision elegantly transforms Finnair’s new long-haul cabin interiors
Nordic airline Finnair approached us with a view to completely transform its ground-to-air customer experience. The project would involve the design of line-fit cabin interiors for new A350 and retro-fit A330 aircraft, including customisation of brand new seating platforms for business and premium economy – with Finnair being the launch customer for both. The work was conducted as part of a total transformation of Finnair’s customer experience, with tangerine acting as a design partner for both the airline’s airport lounges in Helsinki and the aircraft cabin interiors. The result is an elegant Nordic travel experience that makes the journey as enjoyable as the destination.
- Vision Setting and Creative Direction
- Design Strategy and Product Innovation
- Industrial Design and Design Engineering
- Full Cabin Colour, Material and Finish
The aim of the new cabin design was to successfully differentiate Finnair on its competitive routes between Europe and Asia by developing innovative custom products and crafting a uniquely Nordic travel experience. To gain a better understanding of Finnair and the nuances of Nordic culture, we took immersion research trips to Finland, traversing the city and countryside with locals, holding workshops with key stakeholders, and speaking with customers in Helsinki to understand their priorities.
We assisted Finnair in reviewing different vendor options for its business class and premium economy seating, helping them to make informed decisions based on their ambitions for the cabin experience. Collins’ AirLounge for business class and Haeco’s Vector Premium for the premium economy were selected. Working closely with Finnair and its vendors, we explored through questioning and experimentation how the platforms could be further developed to create the right passenger experience for Finnair’s customers within the constraints of the programme.
At the heart of Finnair’s new cabin experience is ‘Nordic Freedom’, a vision set for the customer experience by tangerine for both the airport lounges and cabin interiors. It encompasses the warm and inviting spirit of Nordic culture, the peoples’ love of exhilarating, expansive natural spaces, and their affinity for pure aesthetic forms. Within the cabin, this vision was realised by creating a distinctly Nordic look and feel and through a clever consideration of space, surface, form and colour, which transforms the usual indicators of an aircraft interior into a definitely homely, luxury residential environment. Freedom is supported through the design of the seating and cabin spaces, giving passengers choice in how to use their time and have their journey on their own terms.
Passengers enter Business Class through a welcome area that sets the stage for Finnair’s service. Evocative of a boutique hotel lobby, its deep blue sidewall contrasts with the light woods of the elegantly detailed sideboard. A round, back-lit vanity mirror lifts away from the wall as if hung as a home décor object.
In the design of the cabin layout, monuments and both classes of seating, we considered all the key moments of a flight to support Finnair’s service and optimised space, comfort and storage so that passengers had the freedom to enjoy their Nordic experience as they wish.
In business class, we developed the industrial design of the Collins’ AirLounge seat to deliver privacy, comfort and style in a uniquely novel way. The soft undulating forms of the seating transform the line of vision in the cabin to create a truly unique cabin look and feel for Finnair. The deep Finnish blue lounge-like seats, elegant overhead lamps, carefully crafted textiles, and beautifully detailed minimal forms, combine in a distinctly Nordic way to create a comfy, intimate atmosphere.
A refreshment area between Business and Premium Economy beautifully presents Finnair’s iconic Ultima Thule glassware for a help-yourself bar that gives passengers greater freedom to break away from their seat to grab a drink, while also supporting a seamless staff service.
Passengers travelling in Premium Economy enjoy ‘Nordic Freedom’ seated in the new Vector Premium platform by Haeco. The platform was customised especially for Finnair to improve comfort, design language, multi-functionality and storage, through the incorporation of a fixed back shell and a stylish mix of fabric and faux leather textiles delivers a stylish Nordic result.