Finnair have continued their long-standing relationship with Finnish design and textile company Marimekko with the introduction of their 11th A350, joining the fleet in late September. Titled ‘Kivet’, the aircraft isn’t the first aircraft to sport a special Marimekko design, however it is the first for the next generation Airbus aircraft.
While the inside of the plane may be no different, featuring the same 304 economy and 32 all-aisle access business class seats, OH-LWL is adorned with 38 blue shapes around the empennage of the frame, the biggest of which is just under 3 metres in diameter. If you look closely, the shapes aren’t perfectly circular, they have inherited the trademark style of the famous prints, looking like hand-cut shapes that have been perfectly placed on the fuselage.
The design, which took 16 days to paint, may look familiar to frequent fliers. The trademark Kivet pattern is also found on the Business Class and Economy Comfort amenity kits, tea and paper cups, slippers, napkins and blankets.
The airline’s relationship with Marimekko, founded in 1951, has been running for 5 years now, with the first design initiatives for the carrier starting back in 2012. This new aircraft design is by Maija Isola from the studio. Her Anniversary Unikko print is also on the airline’s A330 and used to be on one of Finnair’s A340s, which has now been retired from the fleet.
It’s a good example of a brand relationship that works well. The simplistic, elegant and refined interiors of Finnair could – in effect – appear clinical, yet this injection of colour, print and pattern both lifts the cabin interiors and also injects a sense of locale to the carrier, celebrating designs native to their place of origin, a welcome trend being embraced by carriers globally.