World Airline Awards Make Trip to Asia as Qatar Takes Top Honor


Qatar Airways was awarded the title of "World's Best Airline" at the 2011 World Airline Awards held this week in France as part of the ongoing Paris Air Show.

The honor was based on an international survey of 18.8 million passengers that covered 38 air travel subjects, from luggage service to in-flight food. Singapore Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Thai Airways International rounded out the all Asian top five.

AirAsia won for best low-cost airline; Hong Kong-based Dragonair for best regional airline; and ANA All Nippon Airways for best ground services.

Air New Zealand, Qantas Airways and Turkish Airlines – at 7th, 8th and 9th respectively – were the only non-Asian airlines to make the cut.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, Asian airlines are currently the motor behind the growth of the airline industry. If this week's Air Show is any indicator, this will continue to be true: IndiGo, an Indian budget airline, and AirAsia announced that they will purchase 180 and 200 Airbus A320s respectively, two of the biggest orders on record.

Unlike many American airlines, Asian airlines have a growing customer base thanks to the growing economy of many any countries and particularly China, which has caught travel fever.

Despite cutting its profit expectations for the airline industry, the International Air Transport Association's 2011 outlook released earlier this month predicts that Asian airlines will be the most profitable in the world.

Booming profits should mean a continuation of excellent service.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., a study by the American Consumer Satisfaction Index shows that the airlines are currently the only industry as reviled as newspapers.

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