Sydney, Aug 12: Singapore Airlines has been named the world's best airline in the 2008 Airline of the Year awards. Cathay Pacific and Qantas came second and third respectively in the annual survey. Singapore won the title for the second year in a row and the third time in 10 years. The airline also took out the award for best business class.
Qantas also won the award for best first class lounge, best economy class catering and best airline in Australia. The awards, run by UK-based aviation research agency Skytrax, are based on the world's largest passenger survey, with 15 million passengers taking part around the world. The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Skytrax's CEO, Edward Plaisted, as saying that the criticism of airlines from within their own regions did not reflect the experiences of global customers.
"The global rating for Qantas is interesting. We do find that many flag-carrier airlines suffer fairly vitriolic levels of reporting in their local regions, and the airline industry remains a business that some areas of the press seem to love to hate."
"The lounge concept for both product and staff service has been modelled around the finest quality you would expect to find in a five-star hotel or restaurant, and the best part is that the concept is being so well delivered by Qantas," Plaisted added.
"Business class standards continue to be upgraded by airlines across the world, and Singapore Airlines managed to retain their title amidst this growing level of competition," Plaisted said.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, which recently expanded their Australian routes, climbed into the top 10 for the first time, and was placed tenth.