At Australian Business Traveller, we love it when an airline makes the most of its culture, heritage and homegrown design by incorporating them into its service.
It reminds us of the weird and wonderful fact that we can step onto a metal tube and in just over twenty-four hours be anywhere in the world. And it helps to bring that smile to your face that makes flying an enjoyable experience.
Finland's national carrier Finnair is doing just that with its new business class table service, making the most of colourful designs from quirky Finnish cult homewares outfit Marimekko.
Finnair has a strong design heritage, and this cooperation brings our design thinking to a new level," explains CEO Mika Vehviläinen. "Our goal is to become a design airline."
Check out more fantastic Finnish design in our picture-laden review of Finnair's European lounge in Helsinki Airport!
And the Marimekko cups, bowls, plates and even teapots are whimsically irregular, with bold retro swooshes and a colour palette that builds on Finnair's corporate dark blue.
Even the mugs are classic Nordic design -- nice and big for that jolt of caffeine. No pointless thimble airline teacups here!
(We're also thrilled that Finnair has retained its lovely 1920s-style raindrop glassware, which we think is some of the most stylish in the sky.)
Finnair hasn't just stopped at your tray table, though -- the calming green spreads to new business class bedding.
And the airline has painted an Airbus A340s in the iconic 1964 "Unikko" design, with flowers covering much of the plane's body. Another Marimekko A340 is due to follow in 2013.
"Finnair aircraft will become roving ambassadors of timeless Finnish design and creativity, giving our customers a special experience when they fly with us," Finnair's CEO Vehviläinen promises.
Stay tuned to AusBT for our forthcoming review of the Finnair "Reindeer Route" version of the Kangaroo Route: Singapore to Helsinki and on to Europe from there!
You'll find the new Marimekko designs -- including the A340! -- on Finnair's Asian routes, including its Qantas passenger friendly connections via Singapore and Hong Kong. They're also available from Finnair's inflight and online shopping catalogue.
For more, and to tell us what you think of the new designs, head over to Twitter! We're @AusBT.