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The top prize in what is seen as the aviation industry’s equivalent of the Oscars, was one of four awards taken home by Singapore. It also claimed best first class, best airline in Asia and best first class seat.
Qatar, which held the crown in 2015, 2012 and 2011 — as well as 2017 — didn’t leave empty handed, with the airline’s Group CEO Akbar Al Baker taking to the stage to pick up award after award.
The Doha-based carrier took home prizes for best business class, best airline in the Middle East and best business class seat.
The rest of the top 10 was a familiar line up of respected airlines, dominated by Asian and Middle Eastern names. Third place went to ANA All Nippon Airways, fourth to Emirates, fifth to Taiwan’s EVA Air and sixth to Cathay Pacific.
Lufthansa was the only European carrier to make the top 10, in seventh place. It was followed by China’s Hainan Airlines in eighth, Garuda Indonesia in ninth and Thai Airways in 10th.
Amongst the African airlines Ethiopian airlines took the top spot as best African airline.
The airline moved up eight places up from last year’s 48th position to 40th this year while South African Airways has moved up four places from last year’s 49th place to 45 this year. South Africa is also well-represented in a number of other categories including best low-cost airlines and best airline staff in Africa.
The awarding of the best airline staff to SAA recognises service excellence covering a spectrum of front-line customer service touch points and passenger’s onboard experience. Under the category of Best Airline Staff in Africa, SAA also won Best Business Class Lounge in Africa, Best Cabin Crew in Africa and Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in Africa.