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12.3 million passengers vote for world's best airline

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June 7, 2005

12.3 million passengers vote for world's best airline

12.3 million passengers vote for world's best airline

June 8, 2005 Cathay Pacific has been awarded the title of Airline of the Year 2005 at the World Airline Awards yesterday, having previously won the award in 2003 and placing in the top three every year for the last five years. In second place was Qantas in its best ever placing in the worldwide awards, with Emirates in third position, maintaining its traditional top three ranking in the global survey. Hong Kong International Airport won best airport worldwide for the fifth consecutive year, with Singapore’s Changi Airport taking the Silver Award in a close finish. Gulf Air won best onboard catering in both first and business classes while Thai got the catering award for economy class. JetBlue Airways maintained its excellent service reputation by taking 2nd place for North America as well being named the world's Best Low-cost airline.

The 2005 World Airline Awards are based on the annual Airline Survey conducted by Skytrax between June 2004 and May 2005. The survey measured 35 aspects of passenger satisfaction for each airline's product and service standards across 12.3 million interviews, evaluating the 'typical' travel experience. This independent survey is regarded as a primary benchmarking tool for Passenger Satisfaction levels of airlines throughout the world.

The World's Top 10 Airlines - 2005

1. Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong) 2. Qantas Airways (Australia) 3. Emirates (Dubai) 4. Singapore Airlines (Singapore) 5. British Airways (United Kingdom) 6. Malaysia Airlines (Malaysia) 7. Thai Airways (Thailand) 8. Qatar Airways (Qatar) 9. Asiana Airlines (South Korea) 10. ANA All Nippon Airways (Japan)

Commenting on the results, Peter Miller of Skytrax said, "Cathay Pacific can be justly proud of this title as Best Airline, having received a very steady level of support and admiration from customers around the world throughout the survey period. As a service industry, the airline business is all about people, and in that quarter Cathay Pacific was repeatedly singled out for the high quality and consistency of its front line staff - in both the airport environment and onboard flights. Allied to some very high onboard product standards, Cathay certainly seems to have achieved its motto of 'service straight from the heart' and wowed passengers accordingly."

"It is important to note that this is the most representative survey of airline passengers across the globe" added Miller. " It encompasses all passenger types, be they business travellers, vacationers, backpackers and more. This ensures the survey truly reflects opinions from the majority, rather than a selective study which makes awards based upon a small number of business travellers only. Whilst every airline likes to fill up their First or Business class cabins with higher revenue passengers, much of an airline's reputation is dependent on the quality of product and service they supply to their Economy class customers."

As well as taking the Airline of the Year title, Cathay Pacific was also named airline with the Best Intercontinental First Class, following on from their earlier awards in 2005 for the Best First/Business class airport lounge facilities.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Officer Philip Chen said: "It is a great honor to have Cathay Pacific voted the Skytrax 'Airline of the Year' because it is such a world-class award. I would like to thank every member of staff around the world whose professionalism and dedication to excellence made this great achievement possible. Being a repeat winner reflects our commitment to deliver consistently high standards of service across the board. It also underscores our ongoing effort to make Hong Kong more attractive to passengers as a global aviation hub and gateway to the Chinese mainland, and our determination to make Cathay Pacific the world's most admired airline."

Across the different regions, Air Canada's ranking as Best Airline North America marks a resurgence of the airline from recent financial problems. "We are honoured to be acknowledged by travellers around the world as the best airline in North America," said Montie Brewer, president and CEO of Air Canada. "This award confirms that our focus on customer-driven products and innovation coupled with quality service delivery is truly what our customers want."

JetBlue Airways maintained its excellent service reputation by taking second place for North America as well being named the world's Best Low-cost airline.

British Airways takes the title as Best Airline in Europe, with it's Club World service being named as the world's Best Business Class. PGA Portugalia is the second placed European airline, as well as being named Best Regional Airline Europe - PGA Portugalia being is a very small airline compared to their European rivals. The third place in Europe goes to FINNAIR, who were better ranked by customers for their short haul product in Europe, contrasted to a rather outdated intercontinental product.

Best regional airlines

In one of the closest regional results, Best Airline Middle East goes to Emirates, ahead of Qatar Airways, and a resurgent Gulf Air in third place.

Malaysia Airlines secured the title of Best Intercontinental Economy Class, with Emirates second and Singapore Airlines third. "Whilst thousands of different reasons were given by passengers for their different airline nominations in this category, seat comfort was the most prominent and determined the final leadership of Malaysia Airlines over Emirates" added Miller. "On a long haul flight, customers want to be comfortable/rest/sleep (seat comfort), enjoy a meal (onboard catering), be entertained (inflight entertainment) and be well looked after (cabin staff). Airlines achieving leadership in this category are those that manage to offer the correct balance between these aspects".

South African Airways continues its dominance of the Best Airline Africa award, taking the title in 2005 for the 6th consecutive year, ahead of Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways.

Jet Airways is named Best Airline India / Southern Asia, coinciding with the airline's launch of direct flights between India and the UK - second place in this category going to SriLankan Airlines with Air Sahara in 3rd.

Best Low-Cost Airlines

No part of the world has not been touched by the low-cost airline syndrome, and the 2005 World Awards have consequently expanded to include a number of key low-cost categories. Named as the World's Best low-cost airline is JetBlue Airways - ahead of Air Berlin 2nd (also named Europe's Best low-cost airline) and Virgin Blue 3rd (Best low-cost airline Australia/Pacific).

Best Airport worldwide

Hong Kong International Airport won best airport worldwide for the fifth consecutive year, with Singapore’s Changi Airport taking the Silver Award in a close finish with Seoul’s Incheon Airport taking the bronze award ahead of Munich Airport.

Previous Top Ranked Airlines

The World's Top Airlines – 2004 1. Singapore Airlines 2. Emirates 3. Cathay Pacific 4. Qantas 5. Thai Airways

The World's Top Airlines – 2003 1. Cathay Pacific 2. Emirates 3. Singapore Airlines 4. Malaysia Airlines 5. Qantas

The World's Top Airlines – 2002 1. Emirates 2. Cathay Pacific 3. Singapore Airlines 4. British Airways 5. Deutsche Lufthansa

The World's Top Airlines – 2001 1. Emirates 2. Singapore Airlines 3. Cathay Pacific 4. British Airways 5. Thai Airways

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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