Flying one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world, Singapore Airlines follows Qatar Airways at No 2 on the list
YOU’RE A frequent flyer and you’re always worried about seat comfort, cabin staff service, in-flight entertainment and the meals on-board, among several other elements of air travel, while travelling from one part of the globe to another. Does the airline lounge offer showers? How good is the lounge Wi-Fi? What are the comfort and relaxation options? All of these must be buzzing in your head all the time.
To solve this predicament, Skytrax, a UK-based consultancy, which runs an airline and airport review and ranking site, comes out with an annual World Airline Awards which are considered one of the most coveted in the industry. Travellers from across the globe take part each year in the world’s largest airline passenger satisfaction survey to decide the award winners. The World Airline Awards are considered a global benchmark of airline excellence.
This year, Qatar Airways was voted the world’s best airline at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards announced at the Paris Airshow Awards ceremony held recently. The awards—decided by 18.9 million passengers in 110 countries across the globe—judge airlines on everything from the quality of their food and the comfort of their seats to the friendliness of their cabin crew.
Qatar Airways has won the top prize twice before, in 2011 and 2012, and twice been voted runner-up; the airline also took home prizes for best airline in the middle-east and for having the best business class seating. So what is so special about the airline? As per Skytrax, in a relatively short time, Qatar Airways has grown to more than 140 destinations worldwide, offering levels of service excellence that helped the award-winning carrier to become best in the world. Qatar Airways’ network spans business and leisure destinations across Europe, middle-east, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
It is probably no surprise then that this award has coincided with the introduction of the A380 and A350 aircraft into the Qatar Airways fleet—survey respondents indicated that the latest seating designs have set a new benchmark for comfort, space and privacy.
Flying one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world to destinations spanning a network spread over six continents, Singapore Airlines follows Qatar Airways at No 2 on the list. Who doesn’t remember the warm and courteous ‘Singapore Girl’? In her distinctive uniform—a sarong kebaya in batik material designed by Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain—she is an internationally-recognisable icon providing the high standards of care and service that customers have come to expect of Singapore Airlines.
Singapore Airlines achieved success due to its highly sought-after business class known as the world’s best. This was in addition to the prize for best first-class seat, beating UAE’s Etihad Airways and Emirates.
Voted ‘Airline of the Year 2014’, Cathay Pacific Airways has come down to third on the list this year. The Cathay Pacific Group, including Dragonair and Air Hong Kong, operate more than 150 aircraft to 130 destinations across the globe.
At number four is Turkish Airlines. Established in 1933 with a fleet of only five airplanes, Turkish Airlines flies to more countries in the world than any other airline (105 countries over five continents). Turkish Airlines now has a fleet of 261 aircraft (passenger and cargo) flying to 243 cities around the world.
Turkish Airlines achieved considerable success in the ‘business class cabin’, winning top awards for world’s best business class lounge and best business class lounge dining. The flagship lounge in Istanbul is among the largest in the world— capable of accommodating 1,000 customers and hosts several live cooking stations serving the best of local and international dishes.
Even though Emirates has been placed on the fifth position, one can’t take away from the fact that they still hold a strong position with their unmatched comfortable amenities. Along with the world’s best airline awards, it also retained its stronghold on the world’s best inflight entertainment awards of 2015. Founded in 1985, and flying out of Dubai with just two aircraft, Emirates now has a fleet of more than 230 aircraft, and currently fly to over 140 destinations in more than 80 countries around the world. The Emirates network is expanding constantly, with over 1,500 flights departing Dubai each week on their way to destinations on six continents.
Others on the ‘top ten’ list include Etihad Airways, Japanese carrier ANA All Nippon Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Taiwanese airline EVA Air and Qantas Airways—the flag carrier airline of Australia.