Finnair reveals timetable for fully-flat seats on your Avios redemptions

A few days ago, I published some images of the new Air France fully flat business class seat.  This will not be rolling out for a while, with the final 777 not being done until 2016.

Finnair, a partner airline of BA in the oneworld alliance, has moved more quickly.  It has just published the launch dates for its new seat on the majority of its routes.

If you thinking about redeeming your Avios points for a flight to Asia, these are the date to focus on:

April 1st – Tokyo, New York

May 1st – Beijing

June 1st – Hanoi, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nagoya, Osaka

Four recent deliveries of Airbus A330 aircraft already feature the new seat, as can be seen here:

New Finnair business class seat

What is notable about these seats is that a full 1/3rd of the seats are solo, with no seat mate.  This gives you a level of privacy that most airlines, including BA, can only offer in First Class.

90% of seats in the new Finnair business class cabin also have direct aisle access.

Three of the existing fleet will not receive the new seats, but these aircraft will be retired early in 2015 as the first Airbus A350 aircraft arrive.

For those who do not know Finnair very well, the airline has carved out a niche for itself in flying to Asia.  A quick look at a map will show the logic in that approach.  For example, Helsinki to Tokyo is timetabled at just 9 hours 45 minutes, compared to 11 hours 45 minutes with BA.  It is a viable alternative if you live in the regions, as Finnair also flies from Manchester to Helsinki to connect.

Sadly this roll out was too late for my wife, who flew to Asia on Finnair last week.  BA was too expensive and she needed the tier points to retain her BA Silver card, so I told her to take Finnair over a direct flight with Asiana!  She’ll thank me for it when we next get all the kids into the Terminal 5 lounges …..

And she got to enjoy Finnair’s Marimekko bedding!

Finnair Marimekko

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  1. Lipton says:

    I presume the taxes and charges are a lot lower as well with Finnair ?

    • They surprisingly are NOT on Avios redemption via From what I saw, YQ and taxes to depart from Helsinki are not less than LHR.

    • Helsink to Bangkok comes out at 100k + £334 in Business. The connection from London (separate ticket) would be 30k + £50 in Club Europe.

      Compares to 120k + £581 for the direct BA flight. You save £200 at the expense of 10k Avios.

      • Phillip says:

        Helsinki-Tokyo OW = 50k Avios and £179
        Heathrow-Tokyo OW = 60k Avios and £393

        The add ons, as per Raffles’ note above. On a one way basis, although an extra 5k Avios, there’s a £189 saving. And you get to visit Helsinki if you fancy it! 😉

      • For Cathay Pacific via, YQ for departure from London will be similar if not cheaper than departure from Helsinki. Tested for Asian destinations further than BKK.

        BA availability is harder to find (than CX, Finnair). Similar experience to what James67 has said.

  2. “She’ll thank me for it when we next get all the kids into the Terminal 5 lounges …..”

    I’m shocked to hear you fly economy 😉

  3. James67 says:

    For those wondering BKK is already full flat on all flights unless the plane is switched. With 2-3 flights daily avios availability in J is pretty good even in J. Taxes to Asia are cheapest on CX but with higher avios requirments and longer journeys. BA WTP and CW avios availability is pretty much nonexistent to BKK since they switched to a 777.

  4. Apologies for the very basic questions, but how do you book Finnair flights on the website? Would you need to book your own connection from London to Helsinki (and hope the flight is not delayed)? Have an Amex companion voucher to spend so very interested in this!

    • Hi, firstly you cannot use your 2 4 1 on other airlines, it has to be flown on a BA redemption. To get the best value use it for club world or first. The Finnair flights come up as an option when you input your destination when actually logged into the BAEC only, I think in the using avios option? That way the search shows all options. Good luck!

      See raffles previous blogs on the Finnair eu departures. Usually advise an overnight stay the day before and on return to avoid missing the connection, as they have to be separate flights, not connected in any way to benefit from the ex eu lower taxes. Youth hostels are usually very good in top eu cities, worth considering.

  5. Benjamin Nicholson says:

    I can find some availability on Avios bookings but when entering HEL – HKG/PEK (or any other far eastern route for that matter) as a normal cash booking it is a connecting flight from HEL – LHR and then on from there!

    Does anybody know how to get around this?