Asia’s largest low-cost carrier beat contenders from five continents to secure the award, including Ryanair, easyJet, Jetstar Airways, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Norwegian, Kulula, Mango, fastjet, flydubai, Air Arabia, flynas and West Air.
AirAsia also won the World’s Leading Inflight Service title for the first time ever, besting full-service carriers Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Qantas Airways, Lufthansa, American Airlines and Air Canada.
The win builds on AirAsia’s success earlier this year when it secured Asia’s Leading Inflight Service award from WTA for the first time.
The World Travel Awards serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the travel and tourism industry, as chosen by thousands of travel professionals and high-end tourism consumers.
Airlines are judged on customer satisfaction and service quality, overall business performance, product innovation, staff relations and development, corporate social responsibility and contribution to local community, commitment to sustainable policies and fulfillment of long-term corporate vision.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, “What a thrill to win World’s Leading Low-Cost Airline for the fourth straight year. It’s a great honour to round out what has been a great year for AirAsia, not just financially but in terms of recognition from the industry.
“I’m also super proud of our first World’s Leading Inflight Service award. I’ve always said we have amazing crew and amazing inflight products, and we’ve proven it by beating not one, not two, not three, but eight full-service carriers for the prize.
“But there’s more to come. We’re always working on more innovations, and not just for inflight. Right now, we are exploring ways to make the airport experience better. One thing we’re looking at is fast-tracking guests who share their travel profile with immigration authorities. We expect to trial this at selected airports in Asean in the not-too-distant future, so keep an eye out for it.”
AirAsia Group Cabin Crew Head Suhaila Hassan said, “Cabin crew are the heart and soul of any airline, and I am overjoyed that our AirAsia Allstars are being honoured for their hard work in delivering the world’s best inflight service. Some people still think budget means bad service but this award proves low-cost doesn’t have to mean low quality.”
AirAsia Group Inflight F&B Head Catherine Goh said, “We’ve worked hard this past year to understand what the market wants and provide truly delicious inflight meals. From our Santan menu, featuring dishes from across Asean, to our T&Co premium coffee, nothing has been spared to ensure our guests get only the best, and I’m glad our guests agree with us because tonight would not have been possible without their support.”