Qatar Airways on Tuesday was announced as the ‘Airline of the Year’ for the sixth time by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. The airline has also won the main prize in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2019.
Known as the Oscars of the Aviation Industry, the 2021 Skytrax awards covered the period from September 2019 to July 2021 with the results reflecting a mix of more normal travel times combined with travel during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Voted by customers, the focus of the annual survey is for travellers to make their own, personal choices as to which airline they consider to be best.
“To be named as the World’s Best Airline is a great recognition of Qatar Airways high standards, and to win this highest accolade for a sixth time is a remarkable achievement,” Skytrax Chief Executive Officer Edward Plaisted said.
Qatar Airways also wins 5 other major awards
The Doha-based airline also secured five additional awards including World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge, World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat, World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering and Best Airline in the Middle East.
“It is clear that Qatar Airways has maintained its high standards of innovation and service standards, both in more normal times and through the current global pandemic,” Plaisted added.
On his part, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, thanked the airline’s passengers for their vote.
“Being recognised as the World’s Best Airline for the sixth time is an incredible achievement for our airline… Having gone through one of the most challenging years in aviation history, this award is fitting recognition for all the hard work by the entire Qatar Airways family to take care of our passengers. We never abandoned them when they needed us the most, we kept flying to get people home, focused on biosafety to provide customer and employee reassurance and continued to innovate during this period.”
Safety during the pandemic
Qatar Airways placed great emphasis on the passenger experience and biosafety during the pandemic to enhance service levels and provide reassurance to travellers. The consistent pursuit of innovation was reflected by the introduction of a new Business Class Suite on the Boeing 787-9 fleet, UV cleaning between flights and touch-free inflight entertainment technology while industry leading flexible rebooking options demonstrated the airline’s commitment to going above and beyond at every opportunity.
Qatar Airways also scooped a COVID-19 Airline Excellence Award, which recognises those airlines selected for providing the highest health, hygiene and safety protocols during the global pandemic.
It should be mentioned that Qatar Airways was the first global airline to receive the Skytrax COVID-19 Safety Rating in January 2021 while its home and hub, Hamad International Airport, was recently voted the World’s Best Airport 2021 in August.