Developing service is a never-ending story

Finnair’s flights between Europe and Asia are almost full, with a passenger complement that includes dozens – sometimes over 50 – different nationalities, as well as Finns, on a single flight. Europe’s more than 700 million residents are of as much interest to Finnair as the 5 million people who live in our home country. For a billion customers in the Asian countries, Finnair is often as good as if not better than our competitors as an alternative for travelling to Europe.

The competition on air traffic between Europe and Asia continues to be hot, with over 50 airlines offering connections, both direct and with aircraft changes. In every market the same basic pricing applies, whereby a non-stop flight costs more than one that involves a change of plane. Just as Finns experience Finnair as being somewhat pricier, so consumers in other countries find the same thing in the case of their own national airlines.

This explains how, in European terms, a medium-sized airline such as Finnair is able to fill its long-haul aircraft from Helsinki to ten different Asian and North American destinations by working actively in different markets and offering fast, comofrtable and affordable connecting flights through the uncongested Helsinki-Vantaa airport. The name we have given to this concept is Via Helsinki. Flight routes from Europe to Asia nearly all follow the same air space across Northern Europe. The same applies to flights between India and the USA and the Middle East and the USA.

You can follow the real-time progress over northern air space of these flights early in the morning and in the evenings at the following web site: www.flygradar.se or www.flightradar24.com. You can zoom in on the map and click on flights over Finland, for example, to see where they are flying from and where they are heading.

Finnair is doing its best to ensure its competitiveness, often together with its Finnish civil aviation partner admin Finavia. These efforts involve some of the biggest investments ever made in Finland, including 1.7 billion euros between 2004 and 2010 in fleet renewal and, on the part of Helsinki-Vantaa airport, hundreds of millions of euros in a third runway, termnial extensions and modernization, and maintenance of facilities in prime condition.

We are continuously surveying both customer satisfaction and brand image development. According to the latest research results, our customers still value Finnair’s travel comfort as well as our modern fleet. Our staff service is perceived as being friendly. Competitor monitoring on Asian routes also suggests that our price-quality relationship is also competitive.

As of March, our long haul fleet will be Europe’s youngest, with an average aircraft age of 3 years, as Boeing MD-11s are withdrawn and factory-fresh A330-300s join the fleet. On all Finnair’s long-haul routes each passenger will have his or her own individual entertainments and communications system to use, in both cabin classes. You’ll be able to plug in your computer, MP3 player and other personal entertainment devices, wherever your seat is. A wireless LAN environment for email and internet access is being phased in on different routes. Every seat already has its own satellite phone and the option to send and receive short SMS and email messages.

The latest Airbus A330-300 joined the fleet at the end of December and for the first time it offers completely flat beds for all 45 passengers in Business Class. The new seats are arranged with single seats on the right hand side, pairs for passengers travelling toegther in the centre, and a combination of the two types on the left side of the cabin. There’s increased table space with all seats for computers, papers and drinks. Comofrtable blankets and pillows make sure that you get a really good rest during your flight.

On December 11 the new Via Lounge and Via Spa complex was opened near Gates 37-38 in the non-Schengen terminal extension at Helsinki-Vantaa. The services can be used by passengers heading for destinations outside the Schengen area as well as those arriving from outside the Schengen zone and connecting with onward flights. The extnesion will make sure that the continuously modernized airport will be able to serve the 15 million passengers who will pass through the airport each year, as well as take care of the 13.5 million security checked items, using state-of-the-art equipment to move baggage quickly from one flight to another.

The new Via Spa area can welcome over 100 guests to its four different saunas and steam rooms, cold water treatment and mineral water baths, rest areas and wellness treatment rooms. Anyone over 18 can visit the Via Spa for a fee of 45 euros between the hours of 10 in the morning and ten at night. Finnair Plus Platinum cardholders have free access to Via Spa. You can even prepare yourself for your sauna experience with an ice spring before your take your shower. Berry-scented hair and skin care products are included in the basic price. The treatments on offer are being constantly being evolved and developed to be even more vaired, according to the German Haslauer spa concept company that devises them. The cost of treatments varies from 31 euros upwards, and there’s a 50 per cent discount on general entry to the spa area for those customers wishing to take these treatments.

The adjacent Via Lounge relaxation area is available to all customers from morning to evening at a fee of 45 euros. About 250 visitors can sit and relax in the lounge at any one time. There is also a combined ticket for Via Spa and Via Lounge access at a fee of 70 euros. In addition to the basic services on offer, there’s a new Via Bar sales point where you can buy fine champagnes and rare vintage wines by the glass and other quality drinks as recommended by expert bar staff. The Via Lounge environment is available without extra charge to Business Class passengers, and Finnair Plus Platinum, Gold and Silver customers as well as oneworld Emerald and Sapphire cardholders regardless of travel class.

Take a sneak preview of the Via Spa at www.finnair.com/spa.

Welcome to a whole new world of enjoyable and relaxing experiences!

Markku Remes

One Response to “Developing service is a never-ending story”

  1. Frequent Flyer wrote on :

    Another competitive advantage that Finnair has over their competition – at least on the Europe-Delhi route – is that with the exception of only two other Western European carriers (BA and LH via MUC), Finnair offers civilised day-time arrival/departure times.

    Reply

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