Flight Report: Norra (Finnair) E-190 Business Class
As part of a recent trip to Hong Kong (my initiatic A350 trip, courtesy of Finnair, whose corresponding flight review you can find here), I also had the chance to fly, for the very first time, with Norra's Embraer E-190.
First of all, what is Norra? you may have thought.
This is a very legitimate question if you do not visit Finland, or the Nordics for this matter, very often.
Norra, the commercial name of Nordic Regional Airlines, is the successor of Flybe Nordic and it currently operates as Finnair's regional subsidiary. To be fair, aside from some mentions to the "Norra" name in the booking documents and at the airport, it is hard to tell the difference with mainline Finnair (maybe those more familiar with Finnair's European services would disagree, though!).
The flight was between Moscow Sheremetyevo and Helsinki Vantaa (curiosuly enough, despite being a member of Oneworld, Finnair flies to Aeroflot-Sky Team SVO hub as it has a code-share agreement with the Russian flag carrier)
As you can see, the cabin design is quite sober, in grey tones (with the occasional touch of colour provided by Finnair's dotted Marimekko-style blankets), consistent with the airline's tidy, Nordic image.
I particularly like the 2-2 seat arrangement on the E-Jets - it provides a more "premium" feel even when you travel in economy...but this time it was business, so time to enjoy some of the perks!
It was a mid-morning, only half-full flight, which gave me the chance to test different seats (my advice is, if you have long legs, and despite the appearances, avoid the first row, you will next see why!)
The E190 is also quite a quiet aircraft (or so it felt!) which adds to the overall experience, which included some nice views of the Baltic coast and snowy Russia.
In terms of IFE, there is, well...the good-old in-flight magazine, which included some interesting facts and figures about the airplane I was going to fly after a few hours in Helsinki, the new Airbus A350!
Overall impression: it met expectations.
We are talking about a relatively short flight here, so it is what it is. The seats were nothing extraordinary but the food was good and the crew was attentive and professional. If you are flying business short haul as part of a longer journey (as were most of the fellow passengers) it isa good "aperitif" to the much more robust long-haul business class service.