World Airline Awards: Qatar leads overall as Ethiopia and fastjet fly the #AfriTravel flag

2017-06-21 06:30 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - In a world where air travel has become increasingly efficient and connectivity across the globe has improved vastly - accolades such as the annual World Airline Awards help us know who the top-dollar airlines are - those champing to do their best or going the extra mile for you the traveller.

The awards are voted by airline customers around the world and are often described as "the Oscars of the aviation industry" - denoting quality and bench-marking airline excellence, "with no outside sponsorship or external influence".

This year's awards were announced at the Paris Air Show on 20th June 20176 by Skytrax - ranking Qatar airlines as the number one in the world's Top 100 Airlines for 2017.

Voted Best Airline by travellers across the world in the annual passenger survey, the Doha based carrier has now won the prestigious Airline of the Year title for a fourth time.  

WATCH: Supersonic roars as Paris Air Show set to be dog fight for Airbus and Boeing

Qatar Airways also clinched World's Best Business Class, Best First Class Airline Lounge and Best Airline in the Middle East.

However the recent Qatar restrictions and growing diplomatic tension cannot bode well for the airline going forward.

According to Skift's Jason Clampet, co-founder and Editor in Chief of Skift, the deeper level concerns around the diplomatic issue could see Qatar Airways no longer being able to fly to Europe and the US through Saudi and Egyptian airspace - adding longer trip times, more inefficient routings for passengers.

SEE: What do the Qatar travel restrictions mean and how are travellers affected?

Singapore Airlines, a perennial favourite in the awards was ranked 2nd, also receiving awards as the Best Airline in Asia, the World’s Best Business Class seat and for having the Best Premium Economy Onboard Catering.

Flying the #AfriTravel flag, Ethiopian Airlines was named best African Airline for 2017, SAA ranked 49th overall in the Top 100 - with the national carrier also winning Best Airline Staff in Africa - seems like they're worth all the meal vouchers they're asking for then. SAA also managed to retain its 4-Star rating for the 15th year in a row.

The national carrier continues to navigate its financial troubles, stating its optimism over its creditors and five-year plan towards stabalisation. 

SEE: SAA optimistic five-year plan will stabilise airline

“To win the Best Staff Service award shows that our customer-facing employees are our true brand ambassadors who made a difference to more than 19 million travelling customers. Feedback on excellent customer service is simply priceless,” says Zuks Ramasia, SAA General Manager Operations.

fastjet was named the Best Low-Cost Airline in Africa, with Norwegian rated the World's Best Long Haul Low-Cost Airline overall. This is the airline’s first World Airline Award and its second accolade in two years after winning the World Travel Awards Best African Low-Cost Airline in 2015. 

“The award is a welcome accolade and suggests that fastjet is on the right trajectory,” says chief executive Nico Bezuidenhout - with this being his fourth World Airline Award for an airline under his leadership. 

Bezuidenhout who states that while 2017 has been a challenging year, the airline is righting itself and a solid foundation for measured growth has been established.

“This recognition as the Best Low-Cost Airline in Africa comes as the stabilisation plan concludes and our focus broadens beyond commercial stability to positive movement in terms of network, distribution and fleet.”

He adds that fastjet’s plans to assume the role of Africa’s first pan-continental low-cost airline are well underway - good news when you consider the need for a low-cost, pan-African offering.

SEE: Aviation price index: Is this the secret to cheap travel, as SA ranks 11th for cheap flights?

Other African carriers ranking in the list were Air Mauritius at 77th,  Air Seychelles at 80th, Kenya airlines at 91st - while Royal Air Maroc at 97 was also named Best Regional Airline in Africa.

Some key results are listed below, the full Award results are available to view at » World Airline Awards

The World’s Top 20 Airlines 2017

Qatar Airways 

  • Singapore Airlines
  • ANA All Nippon Airways
  • Emirates
  • Cathay Pacific
  • EVA Air
  • Lufthansa
  • Etihad Airways
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Thai Airways
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Virgin Australia
  • Swiss Int’l Air Lines
  • Qantas Airways
  • Japan Airlines
  • Austrian
  • Air France
  • Air New Zealand
  • Asiana Airlines


World’s Best Cabin Staff

  • Garuda Indonesia
  • ANA All Nippon Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Thai Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Austrian
  • Lufthansa
  • Oman Air
  • Etihad Airways
  • Emirates
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • KLM
  • Virgin Australia
  • Swiss Int’l Air Lines
  • Turkish Airlines 

World’s Best Inflight Entertainment

Emirates

  •  Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Lufthansa
  • Qantas Airways
  • Etihad Airways
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Thai Airways

World’s Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness

EVA Air 

  • ANA All Nippon Airways
  • Japan Airlines
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Hainan Airlines
  • Korean Air
  • Qatar Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Lufthansa

World’s Best Low-Cost Airlines

 

  • Norwegian
  • jetBlue Airways
  • easyJet
  • Virgin America
  • Jetstar Airways
  • AirAsiaX
  • Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Indigo

World’s Best First Class

Etihad Airways 

  • Emirates
  • Lufthansa
  • Air France
  • Singapore Airlines
  • ANA All Nippon Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Qatar Airways
  • Japan Airlines
  • Qantas Airways

World’s Best Business Class

  • Qatar Airways
  • ANA All Nippon Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Etihad Airways
  • Lufthansa
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Emirates
  • EVA Air

World’s Best Premium Economy Class

Qantas Airways 

  • Air New Zealand
  • Lufthansa
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Air France
  • Japan Airlines
  • Virgin Australia
  • China Airlines
  • Aeroflot Russian Airlines
  • ANA All Nippon Airways

World’s Best Economy Class

Thai Airways 

  • Qatar Airways
  • Asiana Airlines
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • Emirates
  • ANA All Nippon Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Lufthansa

World’s Best Regional Airlines

Bangkok Airways 

  • Hong Kong Airlines
  • Cathay Dragon
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Aegean Airlines
  • Avianca
  • Porter Airlines
  • SilkAir
  • Copa Airlines
  • Juneyao Airlines

Skytrax says the survey voting processes and awards results analysis were subject to detailed, independent assessment by the UK advertising authority (ASA) in 2015 and found fully compliant, transparent and independent.

"The survey enables any airline in the world to be nominated, allowing travellers to make their own choice, underlining the brand as the Passenger’s Choice Awards.

"19.87 million eligible survey entries were counted in the final results, and 105 nationalities participated in the survey from August 2016 to May 2017.

"The survey covered over 325 airlines, from largest international airlines to smaller domestic carriers, measuring Quality standards for 41 KPI’s across front-line product and service factors in the Airport and Onboard environments. View the full » World Airline Awards Methodology."

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