a glittering ceremony at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London, Cathay Pacific was last night (Thursday 18 May) named OAG Airline of the Year for the first time.
Cathay also won the 2006 Best Transpacific Airline, was voted Best Airline based in Asia, and was shortlisted in three other categories.
The awards, based on votes polled by a worldwide audience of business travellers, attracted an array of senior figures from the aviation industry. Alan Whicker CBE, the doyen of travel and travel journalism, was the celebrity presenter.
Eddie Bell, Chairman of OAG, surprised Alan Whicker by presenting him with the Lifetime Achievement Award, praising his remarkable career spanning almost 60 years.
JetBlue took the title Best Low Cost/No Frills Airline for the first time, beating Southwest Airlines, easyJet and last year’s winner Virgin Blue. British Airways, took home two prestigious awards: Best Airline Based in Western Europe and Best Transatlantic Airline.
Continental Airlines was named Best Airline based in North America for the third year running and Best Business/Executive Class for the fourth consecutive year.
American Airlines was named Airline of Choice for Travellers with a Disability, a new award introduced this year, and Singapore Changi fought off stiff competition to retain the Best Airport title, beating Hong Kong International, Dubai International and Chicago O’Hare.
The Outstanding Service Award went to Maria Benson, manager with Continental Airlines’ “We Care” program, for her dedication and inspiring leadership during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Eddie Bell, commenting on the OAG Awards, said:
“Congratulations to Cathay Pacific on winning the OAG Airline of the Year title, and to the winners in all categories who have been recognised by OAG customers for delivering excellent service for their passengers.”