Flying Mumbai to Helsinki on the Finnair Business class

Finnair was recently recognized as the best airline in Northern Europe at what is known to be the Oscars for the airline industry – the World Airline Awards by Skytrax. This is however not the first time, but in fact the 12th time the airline has won this recognition. No wonder there because the airline knows how to please its flyers, and with what all.

Let us elaborate so that you will understand the true weight of these words. Finnair is the first customer of Collins Aerospace AirLounge™ seat – a collaboration that the airline nurtured when it saw “an opportunity to change the thinking of how you fly in business”. It is not like anything you would have seen in a Business Class, just something that the head of customer experience and product design at Finnair identified as unique and implemented. A wise decision if any, and explains the laurels it has received and will surely continue to garner.

The experience of the new Finnair Business Class starts at the lounge. I recently experienced this on the newly-introduced route from Mumbai to Helsinki. Operating three times a week for now, increasing to four in November, this is the airline’s second service to India after New Delhi. The connection serves not only those in Finland, but also to other major US and European cities.

The flight duration was to be nine hours and thirty minutes. Long in general terms, but comfortable and relaxing in the Business Class of Finnair’s Airbus A330-300. The fact that the in-flight entertainment was enriched with content for the journey was an added advantage, of course.

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The newly redesigned entertainment system has added more movies, TV shows, music, games and other such, with easy interface and accessibility. Unlike the crisp 18 inch screen on its newer cabins this one had a relatively smaller screen. The movie selection was spectacular with everything from ‘The Avengers’ to 007 classics. The headphones were noise cancelling but definitely not the most comfortable ones. The dining fare was an entirely different experience as well, and such a treat! We were pampered for choice. A six-course meal, as well as a light meal. Nordic and continental cuisine is what was served, in Finnish chinaware brand Iittalia, designed by their award-winning designer, Harri Koskinen. Quite exquisite, no doubt. It was a classy way to dine in the clouds, I must say.

Another brand associated with Finnair is Marimekko. Founded in 1951, the brand is known to have gained fame and recognition for their design prowess in the 1960s. The collaboration with Finnair began in 2012, and the prints of finesse can be seen on cabin textiles and amenity kits. These are now more accentuated in the new Business Class and Premium Economy cabins. The designs are contributed to the brand’s renowned designer Maija Isola.

This brings us to the exquisiteness of the AirLounge seat and Collins’ excellence. The seat is flexible and functional. It is comfortable and also convenient. I can easily say that I have had one of the best sleeps on a flight on this one. The lay-flat bed is spacious and the mattress is cosy. It can also be adjusted in ways not usual in other business class lounges. The most appealing part of these seats is that they offer ample privacy with their high seat backs and flexibility to turn. Each seat has aisle access, and the center seats in particular have a large divider that can be used to define your privacy if you are traveling alone or with a companion.

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A fine part about traveling in the Business Class its fine wine list, and in particular the champagne and a most exciting collection of cocktails. What I got to taste was the Finnair signature Northern Blush created in association with Danish Mikropolis cocktails. It includes real Finnish lingonberry, gin and orange peel – and is as refreshing as it sounds! This red drink comes packed in a can, and is served with ice and a slice of lemon.

After this treat in the skies, we landed at Helsinki, relaxed and well-travelled. The Helsinki airport was the final cherry on the top, especially for those not aware of the establishment yet. The airport is progressive and has employed advanced security control. The benefit of these advancements meant that I did not have to open up the laptop bag each time to show its contents. We were also allowed to carry plastics with more than 100ml in the hand luggage.

The experience was great, no doubt. Comfort redefined, surely.

Return airfare from Mumbai to Helsinki costs around Rs 190,000 in Business Class. To book visit

Note – The writer was invited by Finnair, but all the opinions expressed herewith are his own.

The Luxe factor is

10 Service
7.5 Space
7 Seats
8 Food
8 Drinks
6.5 Entertainment
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