Finnair Travels Back in Time
By James Grahame
Finnair is going retro. The 'Silver Bird' Airbus A319 will make its maiden flight from Helsinki to Copenhagen on July 30, 2008. To commemorate the airline's 85th anniversary, it's painted in the livery of the company's 1950s Convair fleet and the crew will be stylishly appointed in 1950s uniforms. A total of 60 retro flights are scheduled throughout the remainder of the year, although the aircraft will retain its historic color scheme for years to come.
Unlike the first time around, it's doubtful you'll be allowed to chain smoke a pack of unfiltered cigarettes while enjoying a scotch or two as you sail through the skies. The original Convair cabins had leather armchairs in two rows, tasty meals were eaten at tables for the first time and the airline even offered passengers the use of an electric Philishave razor.
Finnair is at a loss to explain the incredibly high turnover of its flight crew. "They just keep vanishing," explains Deputy CEO Henrik Arle with a quizzical look, "We occasionally find small bits and pieces of uniforms strewn across the picturesque countryside near Helsinki, along with some nice ladies' pumps."