Qatar Airways voted as world’s best airline of 2015

Qatar Airways has been named the Best Airline in the World for 2015 by leading aviation consumer website Skytrax.

The Gulf-based carrier was presented with the honor at Tuesday’s award ceremony at the 2015 Paris Air Show.

According to CNN, the other carriers to make the Skytrax’s top 10 include Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, ANA, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad, Qantas, Garuda Indonesia, and EVA Air. However, Skytrax has yet to reveal the exact order of the top 10.

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 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 an best business class seat.

“It’s a very clear accolade on behalf of the staff — they are the real recipients, I’m just their leader!” CEO Akbar Al Baker told CNN after the ceremony, held as part of the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.

AirAsia was voted best low-cost airline for the seventh year in a row, six months after one of its planes, QZ8501 crashed into the Java Sea killing all 162 people on board.

Co-founder and group CEO Tony Fernandes said the award “meant a lot, after all we’ve been through. I wouldn’t normally say the airline industry is sweet, but today it felt sweet.

“We’ve won it seven times, but this one means the most, because of what happened in the early part of this year.”

The airline also took the accolade for best low-cost airline in Asia, and subsidiary AirAsiaX won prizes for best low-cost premium cabin and best low cost premium class seat.

Garuda Indonesia’s cabin crew were feted as the best in the world, while Air France was hailed as the “most improved” airline.

Last year’s winner of the top prize, Cathay Pacific, took home the award for best transpacific airline, while Germany’s Lufthansa won for the transatlantic route.

Taiwanese carrier EVA Air was recognized as having the cleanest aircraft cabins, while Asiana, Air New Zealand and Austrian Airlines took the prizes for in-flight meals.

Oneworld was rated the best airline alliance, and Emirates won for its entertainment system.

The Skytrax Awards were established in 1999. They are compiled from the world’s largest airline passenger satisfaction survey, and operate “independent of airline involvement, sponsorship or third-party influence,” according to Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted.

Qatar Airways showcases its modern fleet at Paris Airshow

Qatar Airways unveiled the new luxury First Class seats for its A380-800 aircraft
Qatar Airways unveiled the new luxury First Class seats for its A380-800 aircraft

Qatar Airways showcased its latest generation fleet with five aircraft on display on the opening day of the Paris Airshow at Le Bourget yesterday.

Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker met with French President François Hollande, as he viewed the aircraft on display. Al-Baker said,“It is a proud moment to see five Qatar Airways aircraft on static display and to witness first-hand the welcome they received from the visiting crowds, all of whom wish to see the very latest generation aircraft, partnered with the Qatar Airways signature five-star service.

“The Paris Airshow provides the opportunity for the aviation industry to demonstrate to the world the latest advancements made in our field, many of which can be seen on display here this week showcased with the Qatar Airways livery.”

Qatar Airways is displaying five of its aircraft, the A380, A350 XWB, A320, A319 and a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the first time any airline has displayed this many aircraft.

With bespoke, highly-customised interiors, the airline’s range of aircraft drew crowds gathering to see the extraordinarily wide range of the aircraft on display, in particular two of the latest entrants into the Qatar Airways fleet, the A350 XWB and the A380.

The A380 entered service with Qatar Airways last autumn and Qatar Airways received the A350 XWB as Global Launch Customer in December.

The A350 XWB, which entered service in January and now flies double-daily to Frankfurt and will fly daily to Munich from October this year, is also being rolled out across three daily services to Singapore this summer. The aircraft immediately drew the attention of gathering media and aviation enthusiasts on day one of the show, all keen to tour the aircraft and see the best of Qatar Airways’ latest five-star hospitality offerings matched with the latest generation aircraft design. Qatar Airways remains the only airline in the world flying this next generation aircraft.

The 517-seat A380 superjumbo comprising of first, business and economy class over two decks, is the largest passenger jet in the world, and currently flies to Bangkok, Paris and London from Doha.

Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner has a two-cabin configuration, comprising of 22 seats in business class and 232 in economy. The A320-200 on display has 12 business class seats, 132 in economy class and on-demand audio video at every seat.

The Airbus A319 all Business Class aircraft, which flies daily from Doha to London Heathrow, also proved a popular attraction on day one of the show. This aircraft is configured with a single aisle, 2-2 seating configuration, offering 40 premium business class seats and the experience of what feels like a VIP jet.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International