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Sunday 17 December 2017

Finnair banks on Nordic flavours

International airlines are constantly looking for a competitive point of difference to make them stand out from the crowd. 

Finnish flag carrier Finnair is banking on a Nordic food vibe for economy and business class passengers to fill the seats on its flights. 

Finnair is investing in its food offering as part of the carrier's drive to present customers with a truly Nordic experience.

Finnair General Manager for Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia, Geoff Stone, said food was one of the items that frequently comes up in airline customer satisfaction surveys, especially on long-haul flights, where dining has a strong impact on the overall customer experience.

Finnair has been delighting its business class customers with signature menus designed by top Finnish chefs since 2013 and is now introducing its first Nordic co-operation with top Swedish chef, Tommy Myllymäki. 

Rock star chef Myllymäki's Signature European winter menu (below) will be served on all Finnair long-haul flights departing Helsinki from February 7, 2018, and will feature Nordic flavours including Jerusalem artichoke with cep mushrooms and pear, and braised ox with celeriac and kale.

The European summer menu will have more emphasis on seasonal, crisp fresh vegetables to celebrate the freshness of the Nordic summer.

"It was exciting to translate my food philosophy into the airline environment," said Myllymäki. "In the end, the restrictions are also opportunities. 

"Seasonality is key for me, and I want to bring more vegetables, freshness and different textures to the meals on board."

Finnair has also teamed up with the Culinary Team of Finland, which represents Finland in international culinary competitions, to design a menu for the economy class of Finnair's long-haul flights departing Helsinki (below).

"We want to showcase the best of Finnish cuisine to the world and created a menu that celebrates Finnish traditions and specialties, so that everyone traveling between Europe and Asia with Finnair get a taste of modern Finnish cuisine," said Finnair's 2017 signature menu chef  Eero Vottonen, who is also a member of the Culinary Team of Finland.

The European winter menu will feature a marinated potato salad, lamb with oven-baked turnips, and a cheese curd cake. Seasonal menus will follow in the European summer and autumn.  

"Our new chef co-operations bring the best of Nordic flavours to our customers," said Maarit Keränen, who oversees Finnair's on-board food concepts.

"Food plays a key role in the customer experience, and we are delighted to offer a little piece of the Nordics to the thousands of customers, who fly with us every day from Helsinki to Asia and the Americas."

Finnair offers connections from Australia with Oneworld partners and flies between Asia/North America and Europe with an emphasis on fast connections via Helsinki.

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