01 Dec 2013 07:00

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), enjoyed stunning success at this year’s World Travel Awards last night, taking top honours for the fifth year in a row. 

At a ceremony in Doha, Qatar, Etihad Airways took home the prestigious titles of World’s Leading Airline, World’s Leading First Class, and World’s Leading Airline Cabin Crew.

Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards recognise the very best travel organisations in the world through a global vote by travel professionals from 171 countries.  The Wall Street Journal calls them the ‘Oscars of the Travel Industry’.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, said:  “It is a huge honour yet again to receive three of the travel industry’s highest accolades, and especially so as we mark ten years of successful operations.

“The awards recognise Etihad Airways’ continued success and our focus on consistently delivering to higher standards.

“That focus has taken our product and service philosophy in 2013 to new heights, refined our five-star hospitality proposition, made travel more enjoyable, and connected more parts of the world through our home and hub, Abu Dhabi.”

Etihad Airways’ success at the 2013 World Travel Awards caps what has been a remarkable twelve months for the UAE flag carrier.

In 2013 the airline refined its on-board First Class Chefs concept in Diamond First Class, continued the roll-out of Wi-Fi internet, mobile telephone connectivity and live television across the fleet, opened luxurious First and Business Class lounges in Paris and Washington, and started a Flying Nanny service to assist families travelling with young children.

Graham E. Cooke, World Travel Awards Founder and President, said: “The World Travel Awards reward the best travel and tourism organisations in the world.  The growth and development of Etihad Airways in just ten years has been nothing short of extraordinary.  The airline now takes home the coveted title of World’s Leading Airline for the fifth consecutive year – a huge achievement.  At the same time Etihad Airways has become a leader in the areas of First Class and Airline Cabin Crew.  I congratulate Etihad Airways on their repeated success.”

Etihad Airways’ success in Doha follows recognition at the World Travel Awards Middle East, held in May in Dubai, when the airline took home awards for Middle East’s Leading Airline, Middle East’s Leading Airline First Class, Middle East’s Leading Cabin Crew.

Key Etihad Airways 2013 highlights:

  • Successful launch of Sabre-powered passenger services technology platform;
  • New routes to Amsterdam, Belgrade, Ho Chi Minh City, Sana’a, Sao Paulo and Washington;
  • Increased frequencies to Amman, Brisbane, Casablanca, Delhi, Doha, Islamabad, Jakarta, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, Minsk, Mumbai, Muscat, Singapore and Tokyo;
  • The purchase of minority equity stakes in Air Serbia (49%), Jet Airways (24%) and Darwin Airline (33%);
  • Record fleet deals at the Dubai Air Show for up to 199 Airbus and Boeing aircraft;
  • Codeshare partnerships with Kenya Airways, Air Serbia, South African Airways, Belavia, Korean Airlines, Air Canada and airBaltic;
  • New First and Business Class lounges in Paris and Washington

Other award highlights over the past 12 months include:

  • The Executive Leadership Award at the 2013 Airline Strategy Awards;
  • The Excellence Entity in Leadership Award at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance (ADEAP).
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