Air NZ Airline of the Year for Air Transport World Magazine   10 Jan 2012

Penton Media's Air Transport World(R), the leading monthly magazine covering the global airline industry, announced the selection of Air New Zealand as its Airline of the Year for 2012 as part of the ATW 38th Airline Industry Achievement Awards.

Auckland-based Air New Zealand carrier is being honored, for the second time in three years, for its industry-leading innovation and motivation of its staff which resulted in exceptional performance across market position, customer service, financial performance, fiscal management and operational safety.

This year's ATW Airline Achievement Awards winners also include AirAsia (Value Airline of the Year); QantasLink (Regional Airline of the Year); All Nippon Airways (Airline Technology Leadership); former IATA Director General Giovani Bisignani (Decade of Excellence); Etihad Airways (Passenger Service); Transaero Airlines (Airline Market Leadership); and Alaska Airlines (Joseph S. Murphy Industry Service).

Air New Zealand has risen to the top tier of the industry in a host of areas, particularly in market position, product innovation, yield and social media to make the airline an industry trendsetter. The editors also cited Air New Zealand's commitment to operating a very young and highly fuel-efficient fleet and were impressed with its commitment to reducing carbon emissions through programs such as Flex Tracks and Aspire, as well as its support for conservation and eco-tourism projects.

Inaugural winner of a new category- Value Airline of the Year - is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia based AirAsia, which continues to re-write aviation in Southeast Asia. AirAsia has paved the way for low-cost aviation though innovation solutions, efficient processes and a passionate approach to the business of connecting people.

The editors noted that AirAsia delivers value to passengers by being a travel enabler for millions through lower fares, value to employees and to shareholders and/or investors. ATW noted that since 2001, AirAsia has broken travel norms around the globe and has risen to become the world's best value airline with a route network that spans more than 20 countries.

The editors selected Australia's QantasLink as the Regional Airline of the Year, citing its perfect safety record and longstanding commitment to delivering excellent customer service to remote and hostile regions of Australia. The editors applauded QantasLink's sterling financial performance being profitable in every year since its creation in 2002 as it has grown to become Australia's largest regional airline.

The Airline Technology Leadership award was awarded to All Nippon Airways for its role in the development and refinement of the Boeing 787. The editors lauded ANA's huge step in advancing airline service, capability and efficiency through being the launch customer and in-service provider for the 787. ATW editors noted that ANA is a leader in applying new technology across the airline, not just with new aircraft.

This year the editors introduced a Decade of Excellence 2000-2010 award to recognize the most outstanding contribution to the airline industry for the previous decade. The inaugural winner is former IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani. In the past ten years Bisignani has crafted some of the greatest changes ever seen in the industry, such as introducing the IATA Operational Safety Audit, which has helped lead to a 42% improvement in safety, and the "Simplifying the Business" initiative, which is well on the way to delivering its potential $18 billion in savings each year. At the same time, Bisignani encouraged regulators and governments to understand an industry which has had to withstand unprecedented turmoil over the past decade.

Etihad Airways received the Passenger Service award. In selecting Etihad Airways for this award, the editors recognized the carrier's excellent customer service product and offering of a premium service across all cabins. The editors noted that Etihad Airways maintains a genuine service philosophy, combining streamlined hospitality with comfort, while employing staff from more than 120 different nationalities.

The Airline Market Leadership award for 2012 goes to Transaero Airlines and recognizes the carrier's sustained growth to become Russia's second largest carrier. Its market share is quickly closing in on that held by the country's national airline. The editors noted that Transaero Airlines increased its traffic in RPK by 30 times and passenger numbers by 15 times between 2001 and 2011 and that its traffic performance this year once again has outpaced the Russian airline industry as a whole.

Seattle-based Alaska Airlines was again a winner in the ATW awards, this year receiving the Joseph S. Murphy Industry Service Award that recognizes a particular individual or organization that has not only demonstrated exceptional service benefitting the airline industry, but has also brought credit to the airline industry by performing outstanding public service. Alaska Airlines is involved with numerous environmental and corporate-giving initiatives through charities that include Make-A-Wish Foundation, Angel Flight West, Special Olympics, and Shriners Hospital for Children, and BOLD (Business Opportunities for Leadership Diversity).

The awards will be presented at a Gala Awards Presentation Dinner on the evening of February 13, 2012 at the Pan Pacific in Singapore ahead of the Singapore Air Show.

(AsiaNetcom)

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