The much anticipated Finnair A350 XWB (extra wide body) aircraft on Singapore–Helsinki route departed Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) Terminal 1 for the first time at 11:35pm on Monday 17 October.

The inaugural flight departure was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and meet-and-greet with the Finnish Ambassador to Singapore HE Paula Parviainen.

This first A350 journey from Singapore to Helsinki Airport (HEL) marks a significant milestone for the aviation industry. Not only is Finnair the first European airline to fly the A350 between Europe and Asia, but is now providing local travellers with the shortest connection between the two continents. On arrival into Helsinki, travellers can seamlessly transit through Helsinki Airport and connect onto over 70 destinations in Europe such as London, Paris, Amsterdam in as little as 35 minutes.

The inflight experience on board the Finnair A350 is reflects Finnair's vision to offer a unique Nordic experience to its customers. With light and spacious cabin design, regional ingredients incorporated into the in-flight menus, on board retail featuring Finnish brands and even mood lighting inspired by the Northern Lights, Finnair is setting itself apart in the competitive aviation space.

"This moment heralds a new and exciting chapter in Finnair's 92-year history. The A350 is the future of flying and we intend to revolutionise the flying experience for our Singapore passengers with our customised features and Nordic touch," said Finnair Vice President, Global Sales, Mikko Turtiainen,

“We are firmly focused on growing our presence in Asia-Europe traffic, and the launch of the A350 on our Singapore – Helsinki route is key to our strategy. Our overall investment in a fleet of A350´s has been integral to building global growth," Turtiainen continued.

Finnair General Manager, Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia, Geoff Stone said the introduction of the A350 into Singapore was significant for Finnair’s repeat and new passengers and industry partners in Australia as most business out of this market for the carrier commenced with connections to Finnair in Singapore and Hong Kong, where Finnair started its A350 service in March 2016.

“It is wonderful to now be able to extend our A350 offering and the many special experiences and services provided to our passengers with extra space, wider seats, advanced entertainment and Wi-Fi, signature dining and the quietness of the flights among the many new onboard features,” Mr Stone said.

Finnair currently has seven A350s in operation, with an additional 12 on order, making this the largest investment in Finnair history. The A350 fleet investment is the backbone of Finnair’s strategy to double its Asian traffic by 2020 from the 2010 baseline, and increase cargo capacity by up to 50%.

Finnair announced earlier this Spring a quick and easy way for customers to book a stopover for their connecting flight to or from Helsinki on the website, offering customers the possibility to select between a wide variety of activities and tours in Finland ranging from five hours up to five days.

Finnair flies between Asia, Europe and North America with an emphasis on fast connections via Helsinki, carrying more than nine million passengers annually and connecting 17 cities in Asia and 3 cities in North America with more than 60 destinations in Europe.

Finnair offers excellent connections from Australia with oneworld partners and was named Best International Airline – Offline Carrier in the prestigious AFTA National Travel Industry Awards in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Finnair is a member of oneworld, the alliance of the world's leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and convenience to frequent international travellers.

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