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Finnair is flying empty air around: Airbus A350-900 HEL-LHR (+ AY Lounge Sauna)

Finnair is flying empty air around: Airbus A350-900 HEL-LHR (+ AY Lounge Sauna)

Old Sep 17, 16, 2:22 pm
  #1  
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Finnair is flying empty air around: Airbus A350-900 HEL-LHR (+ AY Lounge Sauna)

Finnair is practically flying thin air around the European space.

Some metainfo on the flight:

Flight: Finnair Flight AY 831
Departure from: Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, HEL, Finland
Take Off from Runway 22R; length 3,060 m / 10,039 ft
Arrival To: Terminal 3, London Heathrow Airport, LHR, United Kingdom
Landing on: Runway 27R, length 3,902 m / 12,802 ft
Distance: 1,151 miles / 1,853 km
Duration: 2 hours and 44 minutes
Passenger load: approx. 20% (very empty)
Travel Class: Economy Comfort
Seat pitch: 35 inches
Plane: Airbus A350-900
Registration: OH-LWB (OneWorld Livery Plane)
Delivered to Finnair: December 2015
Engines: 2 x Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-84
Take-Off Thrust: 84,200 lb each



Here is the video review of the flight:




Some impressions of Finland:















What's that?





At Helsinki-Vantaa Airport:





At the deserted Finnair Premium Lounge (for OWE) in the non-Schengen departure area:













Alcohol in Finland - always a sight:





Some pancakes:





Some look at the spa area:





The famous sauna:







A quick peek into the deserted Finnair Lounge (for OWS and Business Class pax):





Gate area, where our flight AY 831 to London Heathrow will depart from:





A Finnair Airbus A350-900 at Helsinki-Vantaa airport - Finnair has six of these frames as of today:





Airbus A350-900 (OH-LWB) in the Finnair OneWorld livery will take us to Heathrow today:







Wingbox:





Some mood lighting after boarding:





I had a seat assignment for Economy Comfort, however, since the plane was so empty I took the liberty to sit in the main cabin here for take off.



Looking outside:







Taxiing towards runway 22R:





After take off from Runway 22R:







Tailview cam:





Soooo empty cabin (I hope cargo offsets any losses for Finnair):









This is the Premium Comfort area with 35 inch pitch - but who cares for pitch on such an empty flight?





Finnish coast near Turku:





Is good old Tarja Halonen sitting in front of me - its not her, but the lady looks like her:




Finnair has a strict Buy on Board policy on its European flights. Only tea, coffee and some dark joice is complementary.
Since I have eaten in the lounge, I take no offense. Internet is free for pax in Premium Comfort, so I took advantage of it.
I assume I was the only one going online, the connection was quite fast. Luckily we were quite far away from Chinese airspace.



Airbus A350-900 Wing view from different angles:













Navigating over Sweden (with Copenhagen in sight) - we will reach 43,000 feet as cruising altitude today:





Getting closer to Britain:





Speedbrakes are applied over the Thames Estuary:




Over London:








In case you haven't noticed, I have switched to the port/left side of the plane.
Since I had internet and powered on Flightradar24, I knew we would be landing on Runway 27R.
While I will miss some views of London City, I will get a good tour around Terminal 3.
If your sit on the starboard side of the cabin on approach to 27R (and are on BA), you won't see anything of Heathrow airport.



Approach towards Runway 27R - London Heathrow airport:







Activated spoilers after touchdown:





Taxiing around Terminal 3:













At the gate (Heathrow Terminal 3):





A last look at the tight Business Class cabin:





Wing from the outside:





Soon this signage will change due to Brexit, because it was time to take control
(left lane: UK citizens; right lane: non-UK citizens):





My favourite spot at Terminal 2 - you have a good view onto our bird:





An Emirates A380-800 A6-EEI with the 15-United for Wildlife livery is taxiing towards runway 27L:





Again, this is the video of the flight:





All my trip reports on FT:

Airbus:

Iberia Airbus A340-600 London - Madrid in Y

Air Caraibes Airbus A350-900 Guadeloupe - Paris in Y

Empty Finnair Airbus A350-900 Helsinki - London Heathrow in Y+ and AY Lounge Sauna

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Helsinki - Shanghai in Y+

Finnair Airbus A350-900 Hong Kong - Helsinki in Y+

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380-800 Singapore - New Delhi in Upper Deck Y

British Airways Airbus A380-800 Singapore - London Heathrow in Y



Boeing:

Asiana Boeing 747-400 Combi Tokyo - Seoul in F

Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300ER Montreal - Cancun in Y+

Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300ER Cancun - Toronto in Y

United Boeing 777-200ER Houston - Newark - Amsterdam in C

United Boeing 777-200ER Amsterdam - Houston in Y+

United Boeing 777-200ER Singapore - Hongkong in C

British Airways Boeing 777-300ER London - Shanghai in Y

ANA Boeing 777-300ER Singapore - Tokyo in C

Swiss Boeing 777-300ER Zurich - Hong Kong in Y

Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER Hong Kong - Singapore in Y

TUI Airlines Nederland Boeing 787-8 Sint Maarten - Curacao in P

TUI Airlines Nederland Boeing 787-8 Curacao - Amsterdam in P

Air Canada Boeing 787-8 Toronto - London in Y

ANA Boeing 787-8 Shanghai Pudong - Tokyo Narita in C

United Boeing 787-9 Los Angeles - Houston in C



Trains:

CFR Calatori Bucharest - Istanbul Halkali in Sleeper Car

EuroNight Jan Kiepura Cologne - Warsaw in Sleeper Cabin

China High Speed Rail Shanghai - Xiamen in F

Caledonian Sleeper Train Inverness - London Euston in Sleeper Cabin

French TGV High Speed Train: Barcelona - Paris in F

China High Speed Rail Guangzhou - Shanghai Hongqiao in Y

Swiss Railways Lötschberg Mountain Line Bern - Brig in F

Ukraine Railways Kiev - Budapest in Sleeper Cabin

Virgin Trains West Coast London - Glasgow in F



Lounges:

Five Star Alliance Lounges: LHR

Four OneWorld Lounges: HKG

TBIT Star Alliance Lounge: LAX



Enjoy!
royng likes this.

Last edited by warakorn; Sep 9, 17 at 3:40 am
warakorn is offline  
Old Sep 18, 16, 7:09 pm
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Hi Thanks for the TR, good pics!

Yes A350 cabin looks often empty on the LHR and BRU routes but its all about the extra cargo capacity A350 has. Great for the pax!

The Chinese airspace hasn't been a problem since the end of August, WiFi should work normally.
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Old Sep 20, 16, 3:53 am
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The Chinese airspace hasn't been a problem since the end of August, WiFi should work normally.
Is the internet traffic then routed through Chinese servers (with blocking of many sites)?
Yes A350 cabin looks often empty on the LHR and BRU routes but its all about the extra cargo capacity A350 has.
Is it really cargo? Or is it that AY wants to reduce downtime between the early am arrival into HEL and the big pm departure wave from HEL? I heard AY is short on equipment.

As you see in my report, I stood like 20 min at my favourite spotting location at LHR T2. I did not see so much cargo going in and out.

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Old Sep 27, 16, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
Is the internet traffic then routed through Chinese servers (with blocking of many sites)?
Good question, haven't tried it by myself yet.

Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
Is it really cargo? Or is it that AY wants to reduce downtime between the early am arrival into HEL and the big pm departure wave from HEL? I heard AY is short on equipment.
The cargo was the original reason when they first started these widebody flights (to BRU) in 2013, they have cargo hubs both in London and Brussels. Quite possible this arrangement serves operational purposes too now. It looks they are increasing A350 flights to LHR from 5x weekly to daily next summer season.
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Old Sep 28, 16, 4:59 am
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Nice pics! I'm trying the A350 out in DEC for a quick trip to HEL. Looking forward to it.
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Old Sep 29, 16, 10:24 am
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Thanks for the TR, how did you find the seat itself?
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Old Sep 29, 16, 10:51 am
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Thank you for a great report!

That 'bus is a beautiful plane and love the Finnair livery. Why would they fly a heavy on such a short route? I can't imagine they are making any money on this or is this route purely for cargo and passengers are ancillary?

If that's the case why not dedicate a complete airplane to cargo and free up that otherwise (very limited used!) passenger section?
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Old Oct 22, 16, 3:23 pm
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Great pics! Enjoyed the report.
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Old Oct 29, 16, 9:05 am
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Great TR - I can't believe that the plane had so much space. I'm not used to seeing so many empty seats!
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Old Oct 31, 16, 1:15 pm
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Business class was 100% occupied today on the flight to London on the A350. Heard the purser say a lot of people upgrade with points. That was also what I had done for myself and my family.
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Old Oct 31, 16, 6:42 pm
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Very informative
Thanks
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Old Nov 1, 16, 3:52 am
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Business class was 100% occupied today on the flight to London on the A350. Heard the purser say a lot of people upgrade with points. That was also what I had done for myself and my family.
...kind of a risky proposition if a last-minute equipment change occurs.
AY will have trouble accomodating all the pax on a small A321.
Pax will be disappointed to get a Eurostyle C-seat.
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