Home Middle East & Turkey Middle East Qatar Airways bags world’s best airline award

Qatar Airways bags world’s best airline award

Qatar Airways wins the World's Best Airline accolade at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, along with three other wins in different categories. Despite attempts to sabotage Qatar's air-carrier services through an airspace blockade by the Saudi-dominated Gulf bloc, Qatar Airways has remained consistent in its world-class airline services.

Airline Award

News Desk |

Qatar Airways nabbed four accolades at the Skytrax World Airline Awards – 2019 in Paris, including the highest honor, World’s Best Airlines to its name.

Previously awarded in the years 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017, it is Qatar’s fifth time receiving the prestigious honor of World’s Best Airlines for the year 2019. Singapore Airlines of Singapore and ANA All Nippon Airways of Japan won second and third place on the ranking, respectively.

In addition to the highest prize, Qatar Airways was also named as World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Seat and Best Airline in the Middle East by its voters.

The land, air and sea blockade on the Gulf state, a city-state by magnitude, had led to significant losses in the realms of economy, hence, resulting in losing the first spot at the Skytrax awards in 2018.

More than 21 million survey participants took part in the public voting for the awards that started in September 2018 and ended in May 2019. The Skytrax is considered to be one of the most transparent and legitimate airline awards as the results are determined solely by public opinion and voting.

Fifth Time World’s Best

The award holds great significance as it has been two years since Qatar’s neighboring Gulf States imposed an economic and political blockade on the tiny Peninsula for alleged support to terrorist groups; an accusation the country denies.

The land, air and sea blockade on the Gulf state, a city-state by magnitude, had led to significant losses in the realms of economy, hence, resulting in losing the first spot at the Skytrax awards in 2018. Despite such strenuous times, Qatar Airways was quick to recover the loss and reclaimed its position as the world’s leading airlines.

Read more: Qatar Airways named best Airline second year in a row

The Group Chief Executive of the Qatar Airways Group, Akber Al Baker, who was present at the award ceremony, said: “We are thrilled to be globally recognized by our customers by winning these four prestigious awards. Being the first airline to be named ‘Airline of the Year’ for the fifth time is a landmark achievement and, combined with three other major Skytrax awards, is a testament to the tireless efforts of the entire Qatar Airways team. It is a proud moment for the airline as our constant innovation and service standards set the benchmark in our industry.”

Also present at the ceremony, the Qatari Minister of Transport and Communications, Jassim Saif Ahmed Al-Sulaiti commenting on the achievement said: “This is a great day for the state of Qatar, and I am delighted to have been here today to witness Qatar Airways being recognized as the ‘Best Airline of the Year’ for the fifth time”

Qatar Airways from Loss to World’s Best- a Story of Resilience

In September 2018, Qatar Airways had reported the crippling loss the airlines had suffered as a result of the brutal blockade imposed by the Saudi-Emirati-dominated Gulf bloc.

The blockade that began in June 2017, supposedly aimed at Qatar’s alleged support to Muslim Brotherhood, was perhaps a cover-up of the Saudi and Emirati intentions to defeat its regional competitors in all realms.

According to details revealed by the Airways in 2018, it had endured a loss of $69 million and more; subsequently making 2017-2018 the most challenging year in the 20 years of the Airline’s history. In its annual financial report, the airline authorities reported a sharp decline in revenue generation and a 19 percent decline in departure customers.

However, Qatar Airways made timely decisions to save the airlines from completely falling apart. The airline had rerouted most of its flights after losing access to more than 18 cities in the blockaded countries. Subsequently, Qatar Airways extended its routes and scheduled its fights over Iran, Turkey and Oman.

Although it had endured huge losses as a result of the blockade, it has now surged ahead with the introduction of new destinations including Izmir, Malta, Davao, Lisbon, Langkawi, Rabat and Mogadishu.

Read more: Qatar airway’s first landing in the Saudi Kingdom since Saudi-led barricade

Moreover, it is said to be the first Gulf nation to enter into a Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement with the EU for various air-space trade partnership. In addition to that, Qatar Airways has formed an economic corridor known as the New Emerging Belt Initiative in a bid to diversify its economy with the combined economies of India, Pakistan, Turkey, Kuwait and Oman.

Has the Gulf Blockade Backfired?

The blockade that began in June 2017, supposedly aimed at Qatar’s alleged support to Muslim Brotherhood, was perhaps a cover-up of the Saudi and Emirati intentions to defeat its regional competitors in all realms.

Qatar Airways, being the biggest competitor of the UAE based airlines, Etihad in Abu Dhabi and Emirates in Dubai, had been leading the airline race with an annual 20 percent growth rate and had made a record deal with Boeing worth $18 billion dollars before the blockade. Whereas, its regional rival, Etihad, had sustained losses of $2 billion in 2016 and $1.9bn in 2017; a subsequent result of Qatar Airway’s regional supremacy.

Read more: Is Qatar defying the Gulf blockade?

However, the blockade is seemed to have backfired; a record 27.1 percent of net profit has been reported by Qatar Airways for the FY 2018-2019 in contrast to an 86 percent decline in Etihad Airline’s net profit.

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