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Finnair: Design Takes Flight

In Shanghai this week, Finland’s national carrier announced an inspired, strategic partnership with fellow Finnish export brand Marimekko

Finnair: Design Takes Flight


November 1st, 2012

Not content with playing host country for the 2012 World Design Capital, Finland this week reinforced their commitment to “Embedding Design in Life” – extending the Finnish affinity for design into 2013 and beyond.

With Helsinki currently the world’s design epicentre; abuzz with creative programs and displays of smart design thinking, the announcement that Marimekko one of the worlds most famous textile and fashion design houses has joined forces with the national airline, means the design dialogue now reaches far beyond Finland’s borders with every departing flight.

The cooperation between the two brands sees two A340 aircraft repainted featuring Maija Isola’s iconic “Unikko” floral print from 1964. Onboard the aircraft a range of textiles, utensils and decorative elements have also been redesigned to incorporate the distinct patterning of Marimekko’s collections.

Currently in Australia ahead of Marimekko’s first Australian boutique opening in Sydney, Marimekko CEO Mika Ihamuotila, says:

“Finnair is a natural partner for Marimekko, as in my opinion it has been the first airline in the world to lift up design and place it strongly at the center of its service,”

Equally enthused by the pairing is the airline’s CEO Mika Vehviläinen:

“Finnair has a strong design heritage, and this cooperation brings our design thinking to a new level, our goal is to become a design airline, and bring our customers unique experiences for all five senses. Cooperation with Marimekko is an important step towards this target.”

Already flying between Helsinki and major Asian hubs, the first of the “Unikko” A340’s is a strategic positioning of both brands in a market that has impressively expanded for both parties.

Finnair’s access to Europe from their Helsinki hub has secured them rapid growth in the Asia-Pacific region – whilst Marimekko has always enjoyed a strong following in Japan, in recent times the demand in Chinese markets has flourished – leading to this design collaboration being first announced at this week’s Shanghai Design Week.





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