Etihad Airways has enjoyed another stunning success at the World Travel Awards, taking the top honour for the third year in a row.
The national airline of the United Arab Emirates was named the World’s Leading Airline at a black-tie gala event in Doha, Qatar.
Etihad Airways chief commercial officer Peter Baumgartner, centre, picks up the award
The judges also presented Etihad Airways with awards for the World’s Leading First Class and World’s Leading Airline to the Middle East.
These three awards cap an extraordinary 12 months for the airline.
Highlights included the launch of seven new international routes, a move into operating profitability and the purchase of a 29.2 per cent stake in carrier airberlin, a landmark deal that enables access to 33 million new passengers in Europe.
Etihad Airways celebrataes at the World Travel Awards Grand Final 2011 in Doha
James Hogan, Etihad Airways chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have been named World’s Leading Airline at the World Travel Awards for the third successive year.
“Last year was fantastic for Etihad Airways, during which we began to reap the full benefits of financial and operational strategies developed over the last five years.
“Nothing is as important to us as our guests and we work tirelessly to ensure their experience with Etihad Airways surpasses expectations.
“We are always looking to innovate, whether that be by introducing qualified chefs in our Diamond First Class or bringing industry-leading in-flight entertainment systems with mobile and internet connectivity to the sky.
“Etihad Airways’ vision is simple: to be the best airline in the world. These accolades from industry experts at the World Travel Awards demonstrate that we are meeting that goal.”
The World Travel Awards – described as the “Oscars of the travel industry” by the Wall Street Journal – recognise the best airline, hospitality and tourism brands in the world.
Judges look for excellence in categories such as customer relations, creativity, quality of service, product innovation and business acumen.
Etihad Airways’ success in Doha follows recognition at the World Travel Awards Middle East in May, when the airline took home awards for Middle East’s Leading Airline, Middle East’s Leading Airline First Class, Middle East’s Leading Cabin Staff and Middle East’s Leading Airline In-flight Entertainment.