Doha: Qatar Airways has been announced as the ‘Airline of the Year’ by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax, in addition to securing 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.
The airline continues to stand alone at the top of the industry has now won the main prize for an unprecedented sixth time (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and now 2021).
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 pandemic.
The extended period clearly demonstrated the resilience and flexibility of Qatar Airways, as it not only delivered continued excellence during normal times, but steadfastly continued flights and offered a lifeline to its customers across the globe during the most challenging of times. Qatar Airways also became 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.
In addition, the airline also received recognition for its luxurious Al Mourjan Lounge, a calming oasis for travellers, which was voted the World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge. Meanwhile, the patented Qsuite remains the clear leader in business class luxury having being named as the World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat, with the premium cabin being voted World’s Best Business Class for the fifth year in succession.
The continued evolution of the food offering on board was also recognised as Qatar Airways scooped the World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering award, a fitting tribute to the ongoing development and enhancement of the food and beverage product.
Finally, the airline was also announced as Best Airline in the Middle East, further emphasising passengers' preference for Qatar Airways in the region due to its exceptional quality, global network, consistent reliability and flexibility, with every passenger journey experiencing Hamad International Airport, the only Skytrax five-star airport in the region.
Qatar Airways has placed even greater 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 Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Being recognised as the World’s Best Airline for the sixth time is an incredible achievement for our airline and I want to thank our loyal passengers for this award. 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.
“Our goal continues to be the airline of choice for global travellers who are keen to explore with the World’s Best Airline, via the World’s Best Airport. Our constant commitment to our passengers is to provide unrivalled experiences when they travel with Qatar Airways and these awards acknowledge that we continue to get this right.
"As Chair of oneworld, I would also like to congratulate the alliance on receiving the coveted 2021 award for Best Airline Alliance for its commitment to providing the highest level of service and convenience to frequent international travellers.”
Skytrax Chief Executive Officer, Edward Plaisted, said, "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 the sixth time is a remarkable achievement. We congratulate them on this unique success. Voted by customers, the focus of our annual survey is for travellers to make their own, personal choices as to which airline they consider to be best, and 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. Qatar Airways dominates the 2021 World's Best Business Class categories, winning the awards for the World's Best Business Class, World's Best Business Class Seat, World's Best Business Class Lounge, and World's Best Business Class Onboard Catering."