Qatar Airways has been named "Airline of the Year" at the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards 2011 for its outstanding inflight product and operational excellence.
Qatar Airways’ global ranking among more than 200 international airlines rose to the world’s top position – up from third spot last year – further cementing its stature as one of the world’s best airlines.
The awards are selected by the airline’s most important audience – its customers. More than 18 million passengers worldwide were polled during the annual Skytrax awards.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker collected the award at a ceremony during the Paris Air Show, being held at Le Bourget.
Qatar Airways, which remains one of a select-few carriers with a Skytrax Five Star ranking for service excellence, also claimed the "Best Middle East Airline" award for the sixth consecutive year.
The international airline also received the accolade "Best First Class Lounge" for its Premium Terminal at the carrier’s Doha hub – a facility for exclusive use by Qatar Airways’ First and Business Class passengers.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the awards were a fantastic achievement, honoring many aspects of the airline, in which it had excelled in different areas, including its inflight product, onboard service, environmental leadership and overall operations in the air and on the ground.
"Since I became the Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways in 1997 at the time of Qatar Airways’ relaunch, my goal was simple – for Qatar Airways to reach the pinnacle of the airline industry," he said.
"At Qatar Airways we always aim at doing the best in everything we do. To be considered as the top airline in the world is a huge achievement and a very rewarding moment in Qatar Airways’ history."
Added Al Baker: "It is extremely gratifying to be recognized as "Airline of the Year", which takes into account the outstanding efforts and hard work of all our employees, as we continuously aim to exceed the expectations of our customers.
Over 18 million air travelers from more than 100 different nationalities took part in the 10-month long survey. The awards are recognized around the world for being the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and as the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry.