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​A350 cabin finish quality a problem: Finnair chief

Finnair sees deliveries and reliability of its Airbus A350s improving but is still experiencing quality issues with the cabin finish of the new aircraft.

"The only thing we don't like is the finish of the cabin," Finnair chief executive Pekka Vauramo tells FlightGlobal during the IATA annual general meeting in Cancun. "There are quality issues still. It seems to take a long time to get them rectified."

Vauramo says these issues cover seating, as well as "lavatories and kitchens".

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Zodiac supplies the seats on Finnair's A350s. The French supplier has struggled to deliver seats for a number of A350s, while other customers, including Cathay Pacific, have cited major quality issues with their interior products.

Speaking at a separate briefing, Airbus head of programmes Didier Evrard said Zodiac's production problems on A350 seats and monuments were now settling, although it was still encountering some quality issues.

"I think in future they will have a much better grip on their production," he added.

Meanwhile, problems experienced by Finnair with A350 delivery delays are now largely overcome. "Deliveries from Airbus are better now," says Vauramo. "We can forecast them much better than before."

The Finnish flag carrier was last year forced to cut its capacity growth plans after deliveries from Airbus were delayed.

Vauramo also says that reliability of its A350s is now in line with that of its Airbus A330 fleet, after initial wobbles.

"We were flying to many places where it was the only A350 that flew in," he says. "So, of course, if there were any technical issue at the other end, it took some time for them to learn to deal with it.

"That of course showed up in reliability numbers. But we learned from it and now we're on the same level as our A330 reliability."

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows Finnair has nine A350-900s in service and 10 on order.

Additional reporting by Ellis Taylor

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