Singapore was the major winner at the 26th OAG Airline Industry Awards with the country’s airline, Singapore Airlines, voted “OAG Airline of the Year” and the country’s main international airport, Singapore Changi, voted Best Airport. The Award winners were announced on June 4 in the art deco setting of The Bloomsbury Ballroom in central London.
“This is a very special night for Singapore,” says Alan Glass, CEO of OAG. “Our congratulations go to the airline, the airport, the Government and the people of Singapore. The level of service and innovation that Singapore Airlines and Singapore Changi have consistently offered the traveling public is reflected by the way OAG subscribers, the world’s frequent fliers, have voted. The slogan for Singapore Changi is ‘Enjoy the experience’. Travelers who use the airport and the airline clearly do.”
Singapore Airlines last won the coveted Spirit of Flight trophy for “Airline of the Year” back in 2003. The trophy was presented by President of Boeing UK, Sir Roger Bone, which sponsored the Awards. Singapore Airlines has now won the “OAG Airline of the Year” award on six occasions since the inception of the awards in 1982, more than any other carrier and one more than British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Other airlines nominated this year for “OAG Airline of the Year” included American Airlines, British Airways, Emirates and Lufthansa.
As well as winning “OAG Airline of the Year”, Singapore Airlines won awards for Best Airline Based in Asia and Best International First Class. Singapore Airlines’ home base, Singapore Changi, fought off extremely stiff competition to reclaim the Best Airport crown it last won in 2006.
UK-based easyJet took the title of Best Low Cost Airline for the first time, beating last year’s winner jetBlue as well as Jetstar, Ryanair and Southwest Airlines. This was the first time this award has gone to a European low cost carrier.
Multiple winners on the night included last year’s “Airline of the Year”, British Airways, which retained its crown as Best Transatlantic Airline and also won the Best Business / Executive Class category, an award that had been won for the last five years by Continental Airlines. Continental Airlines, however, did retain its title as Best Airline Based in North America, for a fifth successive year, and also won the new category for Best Airline Finance Deal for its EETC (enhanced equipment trust certificate).
Emirates retained its title as Best Airline Based in the Middle East / Indian Sub-Continent and also won the category for Best Airline between Europe and Asia / Australasia.
Reflecting the global reach of the OAG awards other regional winners on the night for best airline included Qantas (Australasia / Pacific), LAN Airlines (Central/South America and the Caribbean), South African Airways (Africa), Virgin Atlantic (Western Europe), and CSA Czech Airlines (Central/Eastern Europe). Air New Zealand was voted Best Transpacific Airline and American Airlines was recognized for Best Economy / Coach Class.
Lufthansa Cargo won the Best Freighter Operator Award and AWAS was voted Best Airline Lessor.
“We all know how the airline industry is vital for world trade, our economies and our prosperity,” commented Alan Glass, CEO of OAG, during his welcome address, “but we are also cognizant of the significant challenges we face. However, we need to put some perspective on all the negative talk. Compared with this time last year, OAG statistics reveal the world’s airlines are operating 40,000 more flights and offering 10.1 million more seats, although some rationalization is anticipated. The aircraft order books are looking pretty healthy, with a 35% increase year on year. This indicates that despite current financial pressures, the industry as a whole is gearing up its investment for long-term sustainability.”
The recipient of the Outstanding Service Award was the Air Canada Customer Service team based at Heathrow Airport. The team of five people were honored for their personal generosity and effort in making a real difference to the lives of young children in South Africa.
The annual “OAG Airline Industry Awards”, sponsored by Boeing, celebrates the very best in global air travel and publicly recognizes the highest standards within the industry.