Paris Air Show seems to go from strength to strength each day.
The highlight of the show was definitely the Skytrax Awards.
Skytrax guarantee total transparency across the World Airline Survey process, and the awards operate on a not-for-profit basis – allowing real customers to make their own, honest choices as to the airlines they consider to be best, and worthy of an award – which is why the results are known as the Passengers Choice Awards.
The Skytrax survey is respected and recognised around the world as the only truly global, independent passenger survey of airline standards.? Source: Skytrax,
Assessment for Awards applies a detailed Product and Service agenda – covering up to 800 different rating items. The Awards panel is made up of Directors and Audit staff at Skytrax, with additional grading for the award process utilising a selective study amongst members of the SKYTRAX Business Research Group.
Airlines do not subscribe to be included in the customer survey, there is no membership criteria, and no charge for winners to attend the World Airline Awards ceremony. To reinforce this credibility, the complete independence and clarity of survey and awards process, Skytrax do not accept any third party sponsorship.
Qatar Airways was named the best airline in the world, by Skytrax. in a ceremony held in the French Air and Space Museum at the Paris Air Show.
The Middle Eastern carrier has climbed steadily in the rankings from eighth place six years ago.
The Qatar carrier topped the annual rankings of more than 200 international airlines ? up from third spot last year when the title was won by South Korea’s Asiana Airways.
Qatar Airways beat stiff competition from four Asian carriers in the category to clinch the honour in front of global aviation industry executives at the Paris Air Show.
Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted said the award was significant for Qatar Airways, because it “reflects opinions of passengers around the world, and is based on every customer type across all cabins – be they business or leisure, frequent or first-time flyers”.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker collected the award, together with two others for Best Middle East Airline, which was won for the sixth consecutive year, and Best First Class Lounge for its Premium Terminal at the carrier?s Doha hub.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the awards were a fantastic achievement, honouring many aspects of the airline, in which it had excelled in different areas, including its inflight product, onboard service, environmental leadership and overall operations in the air and on the ground.
?Since I became the chief executive officer of Qatar Airways in 1997 at the time of Qatar Airways? relaunch, my goal was simple ? for Qatar Airways to reach the pinnacle of the airline industry.
Al Baker said: ?Today, I am immensely proud of Qatar Airways and it is an honour on behalf of my workforce and my country to collect this prestigious award and for Qatar Airways to be named Airline of the Year.
?At Qatar Airways we always aim at doing the best in everything we do. To be considered as the top airline in the world is a huge achievement and a very rewarding moment in Qatar Airways? history.?
?It is extremely gratifying to be recognised as Airline of the Year, which takes into account the outstanding efforts and hard work of all our employees, as we continuously aim to exceed the expectations of our customers.
?I also want to thank our customers for their positive response, loyalty and appreciation of our product. It is a great motivation for everyone at Qatar Airways and will stimulate the entire airline?s staff to continuously deliver Five Star excellence and the highest service standards we are renowned for worldwide.?
Skytrax Chief Executive Officer Edward Plaisted said Qatar Airways continued to impress the industry with its high standards. ?The World Airline Awards are known as ‘The Passenger’s Choice’, underlining the fact that Qatar Airways is clearly satisfying the hardest critics ? their users.
?Over the short few years Qatar Airways has been operating, the airline has demonstrated excellence in all areas of its operations and its global ranking to number one under the dynamic leadership of Akbar Al Baker has been remarkable.”
The airline also received the accolade ‘Best First Class Lounge’ for its Premium Terminal at the carrier?s Doha hub ? a facility for exclusive use by Qatar Airways? First and Business Class passengers.
The award further cements the Premium Terminal?s stature as a world class luxury facility for passengers to unwind and relax before their flight.
The award also ranks the Five Star carrier?s Premium Terminal as the best in the world?s top three terminals by the respected leading aviation industry audit, Skytrax.
Magic at the airshow
Separately, Qatar Airways unveiled its newest multi-million dollar global television campaign at the Paris show
The suite of commercials focus on the globalization of the Doha-based airline and its fine hospitality.
The commercials first went to air on leading international TV channels across Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific and North America, on Tuesday.
The commercials were created by Batey, a Singapore-based creative advertising agency.
They will be aired on all major global and regional news networks including BBC, CNN, Channel News Asia, Al Jazeera, Sky News, CNBC TV 18, Euronews, and TV5 Monde, as well as Discovery Channel, National Geographic and Orbit Showtime.
Qatar Airways now covers over 100 business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
So far this year, Qatar Airways has launched seven routes – Budapest, Bucharest, Brussels, Stuttgart, Aleppo, Shiraz and Venice – from its Doha hub.
Over the next few months, others will be launched including Montreal, Canada; Kolkata, India; Sofia, Bulgaria and Oslo, Norway.
Qatar Airways was followed by 2008 winner Singapore Airlines in second place, with last year’s winner, South Korea’s Asiana Airlines in third position. Cathay Pacific Airways retained fourth place from last year.
Thai Airways was the big mover, rising four places to fifth position.
In the Australia-Pacific region rankings, Qantas ran second to Air New Zealand. Jetstar was rated third-best for the region. Air New Zealand’s new premium economy offering was also rated the best in the world for that class.
Jetstar was named the best low-cost carrier for Australia-Pacific.
Asiana Airlines won for the best cabin crew, while Emirates won the best in-flight entertainment award.
The annual awards by Skytrax are based on surveys with more than 18 million passengers, carried out over 10 months.
The awards were announced today at the French Air and Space Museum at the Paris Air Show.
THE WORLD’S BEST AIRLINES : 2011
1. Qatar Airways
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Asiana Airlines
4. Cathay Pacific Airways
5. Thai Airways International
6. Etihad Airways
7. Air New Zealand
8. Qantas Airways
9. Turkish Airlines
World’s Best First Class Airline Seat
1. Cathay Pacific Airways
2. Etihad Airways
3. Singapore Airlines
Best Airline Inflight Entertainment
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Cathay Pacific Airways
World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat
1. Oman Air
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Qatar Airways
Best Premium Economy Class Airline
1. Air New Zealand
2. Turkish Airlines
3. Qantas Airways
World’s Most Improved Airline
1. China Southern Airlines
2. Air China
3. Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Source: Skytax, Passenger Terminal Expo, World Airline Survey, The Sydney Morning Herald, China Daily, Arabian Business,