AirAsia hailed as World’s Best Low-Cost Airline service for ninth straight year
Attending the Air Show here in Paris is absolutely a dream come true, especially for an aviation fan like me. We left the hotel early today with so much excitement to witness this momentous event held at the Paris–Le Bourget Airport.
After getting our individual media badge, we began roaming around to check out different exhibitions and take photos of various aircraft on display. Among the highlights of the visit is attending the 2017 Skytrax Airline Awards that was attended by major airline carriers worldwide.
Nine Times World Champion
AirAsia has become a favorite of mine in recent years. This unassuming low-cost airline with regional headquarters in Malaysia provides service way beyond the price tag set and giving their customers with a unique air travel experience.
This commitment to service may be the reason why the company got the award for Best Low-Cost Airline in the recently concluded 2017 Skytrax Airline Awards that was held at the Le Bourget Airport in Paris.
The award, which AirAsia got for the ninth straight year, was received by AirAsia Group Cabin Crew Head Suhaila Hassan and accompanied by brand ambassadors Roberto Carlos and David Foster. Carlos is known all over the world for being a left-back football player that led Real Madrid to four Spanish La Liga championships.
The CEO of the company, Tony Fernandes, hailed the award as a proof of the importance the AirAsia brand has gained across the globe in the past few years. He compared AirAsia’s ninth consecutive win to Michael Phelps winning Olympics events, Michael Jordan becoming a champion of the NBA and Brazil taking the trophy for itself in the FIFA World Cup five times. He also emphasized that the win is mind-blowing, considering that AirAsia only started its operations in 2001.
“Today, Asean has created a world record. We are now nine times world champion,” said Fernandes. “To put it into perspective, Brazil won the FIFA World Cup five times, Michael Jordan was NBA champion six times and Michael Phelps holds the record for most first place finishes at a single Olympics with eight gold medals.
“We take the world champion title seriously and we will strive to continue to improve for both our guests and shareholders. Over the last 15 years we have created a great brand and over the next 15, we want to move towards One AirAsia, a truly Asean community airline. We also want to recreate ourselves as a digital airline and use technology to drive more value,” he added.
Other airlines that won awards in other categories include Qatar Airways, Bangkok Airways, Garuda Indonesia and Emirates. Qatar, especially, received multiple awards, including World’s Best Airline.
The 2017 Skytrax Airline Awards is the most prestigious award-giving body for the airline industry, sometimes being dubbed as “the Oscars of the aviation industry.” The results are sifted from a survey of a total of $19.5 million customers based on a total of 49 key performance indicators of the company’s services. Their methodology is actually pretty accurate, putting more emphasis on the customer experience than ever. This means that I, as a customer, will have the power in accepting whoever the awards will go to.
The award comes in a year when low-cost air travel is affordable more and, therefore, more competitive. In fact, AirAsia is now currently in negotiations to revive its outpost in Adelaide, Australia, in a bid to capitalize on the increasingly bright global reputation of the South Australian city. It is not yet decided whether it will be added to the regular fleet or with the company’s sister that specializes in long-haul travel, AirAsia X.
The two sister companies are also concentrating on Asia and not expanding to the Americas and Europe as previously reported. The two companies have also decided not to add any more long-haul trips to any destination so it can stick to what it knows best: low-budget, short-haul air travel. The decision makes sense as competition even among European airlines is already crazy enough, without AirAsia adding to it.
Because of this, the airline will be pouring its technology and resources on untapped Asian and Australian markets instead like China and Vietnam.
So far, the plan points to a commitment to the company’s vision of becoming a truly ASEAN community airline.