AirlineRatings.com the world’s foremost safety and product rating website has announced the selection of Air New Zealand as its Airline of the Year for 2014.
AirlineRatings.com celebrates and promotes excellence in the airline industry and the pinnacle of these efforts is its Airline Excellence Awards. Winners also include; Emirates; Cathay Pacific Airways, Qantas, Silk Air, JetBlue, flydubai, Jetstar, Norwegian, Singapore Airlines, Air Canada and Swiss.
Airline of the Year
Air New Zealand is being honoured for its in-flight innovations, financial performance, operational safety and motivation of its staff that have stamped the airline an industry trendsetter.
The editorial team, one of the world’s most awarded and experienced, lauded Air New Zealand’s commitment to a young fleet and its continual focus on the environment. The airline also won Best Premium Economy Class.
Air New Zealand has been a leader in the airline industry for years and has won countless awards including Air Transport World’s Airline of the Year in 2010 and 2012.
AirlineRatings.com’s editorial team took special note of Air New Zealand’s comprehensive long haul offering which had two multi-award winning products in the Skycouch and Spaceseat for economy minded passengers.
“Quite simply Air New Zealand is an airline of first choice. And given the airline’s location and the country’s size, its performance is even more remarkable,” said AirlineRatings.com editor Geoffrey Thomas.
“This outstanding performance has seen Air New Zealand catapult to the top tier of the industry in a host of areas and in particular market position, product innovation, yield and social media that made the airline a trendsetter.”
“The editors of AirlineRatings.com also noted that the airline’s focus on delivering value to passengers has resulted in higher yields and better returns for staff and shareholders. Air New Zealand is unquestionably AirlineRatings.com Airline of the Year for 2014,” said Mr Thomas.
Read more about Air New Zealand’s offerings here
Regional Airline of the Year
Singapore based Silk Air has taken out this award for delivering a first class experience on regional routes.
Airlineratings.com editorial team praised Silk Air on its innovation that has resulted in exceptional performance in customer service, product and financial performance. This performance has seen Silk Air dominate its regional market segment for decades and makes it an industry trendsetter. “Silk Air’s regional offering is better than many full service airlines,” said Mr Thomas. “Silk Air richly deserves AirlineRatings.com Best Regional Airline award.”
Read more about Silk Air’s offerings here
Best First Class
Emirates, which has won a number of awards, is a standout winner of Best First Class. “Its First Class product is a new industry benchmark and is offered over almost all of the airline’s long haul fleet,” said Mr Thomas. “For those who want the ultimate experience Emirates’ First Class is just that.” Features include showers on the A380 and of course a now famous bar.
Read more about Emirates First Class offerings here
Best Business Class
Cathay Pacific Airways has won Best Business Class and the award adds to a string of accolades the airline has won for its business class offering. According to Mr Thomas, Cathay Pacific’s new business class is exceptional. “It’s a magnificent blend of comfort, functionality and privacy,” said Mr Thomas. “The airline has listened to its customers and it shows. Cathay Pacific is a standout winner of AirlineRatings.com Best Business Class award.”
Read more about Cathay Pacific Business Class offerings here
Best Premium Economy
Air New Zealand has won Best Premium Economy for its innovation in designing its own premium economy seat. The airline is continually innovating in all cabins and this has resulted in higher yields as passengers upgrade their travel experience with value propositions. “Air New Zealand has proven conclusively that passengers will pay more if the product is right and priced accordingly. Its efforts in this space are a lesson to all airlines that passengers want better and are prepared to pay.
Read more about Air New Zealand’s offerings here
Australia’s Qantas Airways picks up Best Economy Class. “AirlineRatings.com editorial team singled out in particular Qantas’ domestic economy product for special praise. We found that there is absolutely no doubt that it is world’s best – and by a wide margin,” said Mr Thomas
The airline domestic economy class offering is a step beyond and quite simple the world’s best. “Passengers enjoy a full meal service, free in-flight entertainment and a free baggage allowance,” said Mr Thomas.
Whereas most domestic airlines have stripped away features and now charge, Qantas has maintained there is only one price – that of the ticket. The airline’s international economy class product is also a standout.
Read more on Qantas here
Another win for Qantas. ‘Qantas’ lounges have become an Australian air travel institution and the airline’s overseas offerings are also an industry benchmark,” said Mr Thomas.
Qantas Lounges not only provide complementary food and beverages the airline was a leader in installing showers. Importantly the airline’s lounges have robust broadband internet access that can handle demand – something lacking in many other airline’s lounges. “The Qantas Lounge is the place to be for the savvy traveller,” said Mr Thomas.
Best In-Flight Entertainment
Emirates, which was one of the pioneers of IFE, wins AirlineRatings.com Best IFE award. The airline has an IFE product that few airlines equal. Airlineratings.com editors noted that Emirates was one of the first adopters, particularly for economy class. By 1993 all the airline’s seats were fitted with IFE.
Emirates ICE has a host of features. It allows you to follow the progress of your flight, or take in the view from the aircraft’s external cameras. You can keep in touch with live business, news and sport headlines. As a communication tool it provides phone, SMS or email capability. For entertainment there are 600 channels of premium entertainment.
Best Long Haul Airline
AirlineRatings.com Best Long Haul Airline awards have been won by: Emirates (Middle East/Africa), Singapore Airlines (Asia/Pacific), Swiss (Europe) and Air Canada (The Americas).
According to Mr Thomas, these four long haul airlines are leaders in their region and in fact well beyond. “Each in their own way defines long haul travel and can be counted on to deliver the best product. Emirates and Singapore in particular are standouts in long haul travel and pioneer new aircraft designs to enhance global travel,” said Mr Thomas. “Swiss and Air Canada also have rich histories in pioneering long haul travel and are deserving winners.”
Best Low Cost Airline
There is no question that the Low Cost Airline market is the most competitive and also the most rapidly growing. Thus competition to be the best is a challenge of balancing product with low prices.
AirlineRatings.com winners are: jetBlue (The Americas), Jetstar Group (Asia/Pacific), flydubai (Middle-East/Africa) and Norwegian (Europe).
The four airlines are clear leaders in their respective markets with clever innovations and they consistently delivery an excellent value proposition. “These airlines may not always offer the lowest fare but what they almost always do is deliver by far the best value,” said Mr Thomas. And these airlines open new routes and bring travel to millions who could previously not afford to fly.