Both WestJet and Air Canada came away winners at the Skytrax World Airline Awards. Air Canada once again took home the title of ‘Best Airline North America,’ while WestJet took home the Airline Staff Service Excellence Award North America.
The annual awards are determined through a worldwide survey, which this year included more than 17 million air travellers The survey was conducted by independent research firm Skytrax between July 2009 and April 2010 using over 38 different aspects of passenger satisfaction to rank airline product and service standards.
“It is an honour to once again be acknowledged by air travellers around the world as the best airline in North America,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada. “This most recent poll of 17 million airline passengers underscores our progress in providing our customers with a world class travel experience and an industry leading product. In effect passengers are recognizing the culture change underway at Air Canada and the excellent employee brand that has developed.”
WestJet was equally pleased with its recognition. “This is truly a momentous occasion for WestJet,” said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet’s President and CEO. “Our WestJet owners are now being recognized around the world as a team of caring and dedicated people who provide a guest experience that is second to none. My heartfelt thanks go out to all of our WestJetters for their continued efforts to demonstrate that a low-cost airline can provide service excellence that stands above its competitors across North America.”
WestJet selected one of its flight attendants to fly to Hamburg to accept the award on behalf of fellow staff. “I feel privileged to work for an airline that recognizes the value of its people and demonstrates that through its actions,” said Emmet Finnegan. “Being here to accept the award on behalf of WestJetters shows that we practise what we preach.”
WestJet beat out Alaska Airlines, Virgin America, jetBlue and Southwest Airlines in its category. Asian airlines dominated the awards, with Korea’s Asiana Airlines named Airline of the Year 2010, ahead of Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways. The top 10 list follows:
1. Asiana Airlines
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Qatar Airways
4. Cathay Pacific
5. Air New Zealand
6. Etihad Airways
7. Qantas Airways
9. Thai Airways
10. Malaysia Airlines