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05 May 2014 13:30

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has been named the Middle East’s Leading Airline for the eighth consecutive year at the World Travel Awards Middle East. 

The prestigious accolade was one of three awards won by Etihad Airways at a special gala ceremony last night in Dubai. The airline was also named the Middle East’s Leading Airline – First Class and the Middle East’s Leading Cabin Crew. 

The World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to celebrate excellence in travel and tourism, with industry professionals and travel consumers voting for the winners. Described as the Oscars of the travel industry by the Wall Street Journal, winners are initially selected at six regional ceremonies, including the Middle East event, followed by a year-end global finale. 

The number of qualified votes for the World Travel Awards 2014 global program is expected to be a significant increase on last year’s tally, which was over 530,000, with 25 per cent of this total originating from industry professionals and 75 per cent from travel consumers. 

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “On the back of another milestone year for Etihad Airways, we are delighted that the travel and tourism industry has voted us the Middle East’s Leading Airline, the Middle East’s Leading Airline – First Class and the Middle East’s Leading Cabin Crew at the 2014 World Travel Awards Middle East. 

“These awards are testament to our customer-centric approach, with guests placed at the heart of everything we did last year. Our service enhancements in 2013, from the launch of our Flying Nanny service to the continued rollout of Wi-Fi internet and live television across our fleet, highlight a commitment to delivering best-in-class products and services.” 

"The airline launched its ground-breaking A380 and B787 product and service offer yesterday at the Etihad Innovation Centre in Abu Dhabi. This is another example of the continued commitment to excellence, as recognised by the World Travel Awards,” Mr Hogan said. 

The year also saw Etihad Airways achieve its third consecutive net profit, up 48 per cent to US$62 million, underpinned by record passenger numbers, freight volumes and revenues. 

Graham E. Cooke, World Travel Awards President & Founder, said: “This is another fantastic achievement for Etihad Airways. Over the past decade the carrier has grown from a regional player into a global powerhouse and this achievement has again been recognised by the voters of World Travel Awards. The airline’s strategy of organic growth and savvy partnerships, coupled with an unrivalled commitment to quality and service, has delivered record results and soaring passenger growth. The airline looks forward to another record year in 2014.” 

The success at the World Travel Awards follows another triumph for the airline this week. At the 2014 Business Traveller Middle East Awards, also held last night, Etihad Airways took home the titles for Airline with the Best Economy Class and Airline with the Best Frequent Flyer Program.


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