Finnair is going flat out on upgrading its international Airbus fleet with new fully flat business class seats this year, but the Helsinki-Singapore route favoured by many Australian travellers will be stuck with the older and uncomfortable angled seats until at least 2015.
The Finnish flag-carrier's $44.5 million overhaul of its long-range Airbus A330s and A340s will see the current 'sloping sleepers' replaced by a 2 metre long lie-flat bed with 58cm of room at the shoulders.
Flights between Helsinki and Hong Kong will see the new seats from June 1, following their April 1 debut on Finnair's popular services to New York and Tokyo.
Beijing and Seoul will go fully flat in May, with the last of the refitted fleet rolled out to Hanoi, Nagoya, Osaka and Shanghai from June.
Finnair says that "three older aircraft" will not be upgraded with the new seats, as those planes will be the first to exit the fleet as its new Airbus A350s begin arriving in 2015.
A spokeswoman for Finnair confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that those older A340 aircraft will be relegated to the Helsinki-Singapore flights.
"In phase one Singapore was not included," she said, "but Finnair's whole wide-body fleet will include full-flats once new A350s arrive and A340 exit begins."
Finnair's lie-flat business class seats are based on the Zodiac Vantage sleepers already seen on the airline’s four newest Airbus A330s.
Asked if these would also be the business class seat for its Airbus A350s, Finnair would only say "We have not published our seat choice for A350s yet."
Finnair has eleven of the mid-size Airbus A350-900 on order with options to buy a further eight.
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About Chris Chamberlin
Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!