June might have seen the opening of the Platinum Wing, but Finnair (just in time for Christmas) has unveiled the final phase of its non-Schengen lounge expansion with the opening of its new, larger, Business Class Lounge. The lounge – just like the Platinum Win – showcases contemporary Nordic design throughout and set on a range of levels, offers a series of new spaces to explore and upgraded food and beverage options.
The previous lounges were popular, but often got filled up due to the rhythm of the inbound and outbound connections from Helsinki, but the new design addresses the overcrowding. “With more passengers flowing through Finnair’s home hub of Helsinki Airport, the new lounge complex increases seating capacity and space,” says Karim Al-Soufi, Vice President of Ground Experience at Finnair. “Together, the new combined lounge complex provides 200 additional seats over the lounges they replace.”
“Throughout the design process, we spent a lot of time to really understand how our customers use our lounges and what their needs are. This, in turn, informed the design of the spaces and services,” says David Kondo, Finnair’s Head of Customer Experience Product Design. “The result is a lounge that offers a variety of different zones and seating styles, providing our customers with different options on how they want to spend their time.”
The design aesthetic for the carrier has matured and the new lounge complex marks the emergence of Finnair’s new design language which centres on Nordicness, simplicity, clean lines, natural materials and texture to provide a warmer and more “human” experience.
The furniture selection includes both modern and classic design pieces from esteemed Nordic brands that stand the test of time. For example, the entrance area features Eero Aarnio’s ball chairs. Alongside the previously opened Platinum Wing Lounge, the Business Lounge was designed as a collaboration between Helsinki–based KOKO3, London–based Tangerine and Finnair’s internal design team.
The new lounge is broken up in a variety of smaller “pockets” aligned to different customer needs and activities. The deeper you go into the lounge, the quieter and more private it becomes. Several different seating options are available, ranging from social open banquet style seating suitable for groups through to more private solo seating. A new family pocket stocked with games and activities is available for those travelling with children. For those wishing to freshen up, five newly refurbished shower suites stocked with L:a Bruket cosmetics can be booked with a touchscreen reservation system.
Unlike the Platinum Wing, The Business Lounge is available to all Finnair Business Class customers, Finnair Plus Gold and oneworld Sapphire members when the departure flight leaves from the non-Shengen area and is operated and marketed by a oneworld airline. All other customers can purchase lounge access for off-peak hours either in advance or at the lounge reception. The lounge is open daily from 5:30am to 12 midnight.