Virgin Blue has been voted the world’s ‘Best Low Cost Carrier’ in the Travel Quality.com Aviation Awards for 2003, taking the top honours over well-known low fare carriers US-based Southwest, Irish carrier Ryanair and UK-based airline easyJet.
The survey listed some of the world’s most popular airlines and offered eight voting categories in the poll, including Best Long Haul Economy Class, Best Long Haul Business Class, Best Short Haul Economy Class and Best Airport.
Virgin Blue received the No 1 spot in the low cost carrier category with 26% of the votes and was the only Australian airline to receive a placing in any category of the 2003 Awards.
Mr Andy Smulders from Travel Quality.com said, “Considering the short amount of time Virgin Blue has been in the market, even we were taken aback by the popularity of the airline. It’s made a big impact in a challenging industry and what really shone through, was its commitment to good old fashioned friendly customer service.”
Southwest Airlines and Ryanair took second and third place respectively.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive Officer, Brett Godfrey, said, “We came into this industry less than three years ago determined to offer an affordable high quality product, and being recognised as the Best Low Cost Carrier above some of the most respected in the business is testimony to the ongoing commitment and hard work of our people.”
He continued, “On behalf of our fantastic team, we are honoured to receive such a huge accolade, considering the tough competition and the fact that the Ryanair’s and Southwest’s of the world are very much more established in their respective markets.”
This latest achievement joins a growing list of awards presented to Virgin Blue, which last year was named the ‘Skytrax Best Low Fare Carrier’, in addition to receiving the Teleperformance CRM (Call Centre) Grand Prix two years running.
With plans to begin international services in the near future, Virgin Blue is strongly positioned in the market having also been ranked among Asia Pacific’s top ten brands in the Interbrand ‘Survey on Brands’ (May 2001) as well as being recognised as having the 3rd best Corporate Reputation in Australia (Australian Financial Review 10/12/02).