Qatar’s national carrier has lost its distinction as the world’s best airline this year to regional rival Emirates.
The Dubai-based carrier was awarded the 2016 honor by consumer aviation website Skytrax yesterday at the Farnborough International Air Show in the UK.
- World’s Best Business Class;
- Best Business Class Airline Lounge; and
- Best Airline Staff in the Middle East
In a statement, CEO Akbar Al Baker said:
The awards mark “a very proud moment…for every individual at Qatar Airways who creates the passengers’ experience – from our on-board cabin crew to the chefs overseeing our catering, to the technicians who ensure the cabin is in perfect working order.”
Qatar Airways and Emirates have won the best airline award three and four times, respectively.
To arrive at the winners, Skytrax relied on data from some 19.2 million customer surveys of 280 airlines taken between August 2015 and May 2016.
Travelers were polled on 41 performance indicators, including customer satisfaction with check-in, boarding, seat comfort, cabin cleanliness, food, beverages and staff services.
However, it is unclear what exactly pushed Emirates ahead of Qatar Airways this year.
Meanwhile, regional competitor Etihad also ranked in the top 10 airlines this year, in sixth place.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier requested to withdraw from the rankings two years ago over concerns about Skytrax’s methodology.
But at the time, Skytrax said airlines are nominated by customers, so it could not exclude any specific ones.
Other top-ranked airlines this year included Singapore Airlines (third), Cathay Pacific (fourth), ANA All Nippon Airways (fifth), Turkish Airlines (seventh) and Lufthansa (10th).