Qatar Airways has been announced as ‘Airline of the Year’ by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax, in addition to securing five additional awards, namely ‘World’s Best Business Class’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering’ and ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’. This marks the sixth time the airline has won the ‘Airline of the Year’ prize (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and now 2021).
The 2021 Skytrax awards covered the period from September 2019 to July 2021, with the results reflecting a mix of pre-pandemic travel as well as travel during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the airline steadfastly continued flights. The latter was reflected in Qatar Airways becoming the first global airline to receive the Skytrax Covid-19 Safety Rating in January 2021 while its hub, Hamad International Airport, was recently voted the World’s Best Airport 2021 in August, in the 2021 Skytrax World Airport Awards
The airline received recognition for its Al Mourjan Lounge at Hamad, which was voted the World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge. Meanwhile the Qsuite was named as the World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat, with the premium cabin being voted World’s Best Business Class for the fifth year in succession. The continued evolution of the food offering on board was also recognised as Qatar Airways scooped the World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering award.
Finally, the airline was also announced as Best Airline in the Middle East, in recognition of its quality, global network, consistent reliability and flexibility, with every passenger journey experiencing Hamad International Airport, the only Skytrax five-star airport in the region.
Qatar Airways has placed even greater emphasis on the passenger experience and biosafety during the pandemic to enhance service levels and provide reassurance to travellers. For example the airline introduced its new Business Class Suite on the Boeing 787-9 fleet, as well as UV cleaning between flights and touch-free inflight entertainment (IFE) technology and flexible rebooking options.
Qatar Airways’ group chief executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker said, “Being recognised as the World’s Best Airline for the sixth time is an incredible achievement for our airline and I want to thank our loyal passengers for this award. Having gone through one of the most challenging years in aviation history, this award is fitting recognition for all the hard work by the entire Qatar Airways family to take care of our passengers. We never abandoned them when they needed us the most, we kept flying to get people home, focused on biosafety to provide customer and employee reassurance and continued to innovate during this period.
Al Baker also congratulated Oneworld on winning the 2021 Skytrax award for Best Airline Alliance, in his capacity as Chair of the alliance.
Skytrax CEO, Edward Plaisted, responded, “Voted by customers, the focus of our annual survey is for travellers to make their own, personal choices as to which airline they consider to be best, and it is clear that Qatar Airways has maintained its high standards of innovation and service standards, both in more normal times and through the current global pandemic. Qatar Airways dominates the 2021 World’s Best Business Class categories.”