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SKYTRAX AWARDS

Fourteen airlines around the world gain prestigious industry recognition in the 2006 SKYTRAX Awards for Airline Excellence



The SKYTRAX AWARDS provide the most prestigious recognition of outstanding Quality Excellence for product and customer service delivery across today's world airline industry.

These independent Aviation Awards honour outstanding Product and Service Excellence across the air travel experience. A true mark of airline Quality Achievement, SKYTRAX AWARDS represent the most comprehensive analysis of product and service standards. Commenting on the Awards, Mr Peter Miller (Skytrax Director Marketing) said ......

"These awards are based on 'real' Quality standards - in other words, the actual quality of product and service being delivered, every hour of every day, to an airline's customers. It is this level of Quality consistency which is our primary objective in the Awards programme. Not the glossy photos or temptations that may be portrayed by an airline marketing campaign, but the front-line service realities.

Aside from the many 'bells and whistles' aspects of an airline product (in both airport and onboard environments), what every customer wants is a sense of trust and belief that their chosen airline can, and will, deliver standards on a consistent and continuous basis. 'You are only as good as your last flight' is a maxim closely applied through the adjudication process.

The SKYTRAX AWARDS honour airlines where we quantify that quality of product and service levels are at their best - and are consistent.

Airlines across Asia dominate many categories, and along with their Middle East counterparts, this resulted in few Awards going outside these regions. None of the North American or major European airlines made the final Awards list in 2006. The financial woes affecting much of the industry remains hardest felt across N America, and we are only now starting to see some of their major airlines addressing the need for substantial product and service upgrading, to enable them to compete more effectively on a world platform.

The 2006 SKYTRAX AWARDS list is headed by THAI AIRWAYS who are honoured for Cabin Staff Service Excellence. This is an airline where onboard service standards are returning to the leadership levels enjoyed by THAI many years ago. An important attribute towards THAI AIRWAYS scooping this Category Award in 2006, was the consistency of cabin staff service across the full spectrum of services - from intercontinental First Class through to short haul Economy service.

The Award for Airport Service Excellence goes to ANA ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS and honours the very high quality service an airline achieves throughout its 'home base' airport operations (Tokyo Narita). From check-in to boarding, gate arrival to baggage claim, ANA ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS achieves the very highest standards of staff service and assistance - the airport environment continuing to grow in importance as a constituent satisfaction element of the travel process nowadays.

AEROFLOT - RUSSIAN AIRLINES receives the Award for 'Onboard Service Improvement Excellence'. In the past few years AEROFLOT has invested heavily in the improvement of product and service across its international routes, and has now in many areas reached and surpassed the Quality standards offered by many of it's competitor airlines throughout Europe. Shaking off a time-old image of poor service or product is never an easy task, but AEROFLOT - RUSSIAN AIRLINES has now achieved Onboard Service standards that we see as most worthy for this Excellence Award.

The only European airline featured in the 2006 Awards is the German low-cost carrier, AIR BERLIN, who receive the 2006 Award for 'Low-cost Airline Service Excellence'. The extraordinary impact of low-cost carriers in Europe is well documented, but less attention is devoted to the variance in standards amongst these different airlines. AIR BERLIN has demonstrated that low-cost does not need to equate to lower standards of customer service, delivering a quality level across their route network that many of the major legacy airlines in Europe would be happy to achieve.

The Middle East continues to dominate many of the top Quality spots, and this year no fewer than three airlines across that region are recipients of a SKYTRAX AWARD.

GULF AIR receives the Award for 'Onboard Catering Excellence'. The introduction of Onboard Chefs by Gulf Air a couple of years ago set a new Benchmark for Onboard Catering standards. Whilst this is concentrated on the Premium end of the aircraft, the concept has resulted in a much more notable improvement to GULF AIR Onboard Catering standards across all cabins, and deserved merit for this accolade.

EMIRATES is honoured in the category for 'Inflight Entertainment Excellence', as they continue to innovate and create ever increasing quality levels. With the passenger satisfaction importance of Inflight Entertainment continuing to increase across medium and long haul flights, EMIRATES remains a dominating force in this product area.

QATAR AIRWAYS takes the Award for 'Inflight Service Consistency Excellence'. As an airline that is growing at extraordinary speed, they have managed to maintain (and improve) some of the highest standards of passenger Inflight Service. Quality leadership is often possible in the 'small is beautiful' scenario, and we honour QATAR AIRWAYS for the ability to maintain highest quality levels in its move to become a top world player in the airline industry.

In the Premium Class categories, CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS receives the Award 'Airport Lounge Service Excellence' for its First and Business class lounge operations at Hong Kong International Airport. As with all of the Award criteria, our primary focus is on both Quality and consistency of Product and Service delivered to customers in these front-line areas - and CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS excels across these different facilities.

Other Class specific category winners include Taiwan based CHINA AIRLINES, who are named as winner of the 'Business Class Onboard Service Excellence' Award. ASIANA AIRLINES of South Korea receiving the Award for 'First Class Onboard Service Excellence'. MALAYSIA AIRLINES are named as the winner of the 'Economy Class Onboard Service Excellence' Award.

The final SKYTRAX AWARDS 2006 recognise exceptional Quality standards amongst smaller airlines.

The first honour, for 'Service Excellence for a Regional airline' is awarded to BANGKOK AIRWAYS. Describing itself as Asia's Boutique Airline, the airline achieves exceptionally high and consistent standards of Product and Service delivery, taking regional airline standards to a new plateau.

Connecting 4 continents with a small fleet of just 5 widebody aircraft AIR TAHITI NUI is the winner of the 2006 Award for 'Onboard Service Excellence for a smaller airline' - this honours both the high quality and consistency of inflight service delivered by AIR TAHITI NUI.

The Award for 'Service Excellence for a New airline', is bestowed on the new Indian carrier, KINGFISHER AIRLINES. Aside from the fascinating description of their aircraft fleet as "Funliners", this airline has developed and implemented a new and higher level of customer service across much of the Indian subcontinent."


15th February 2006










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