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The top airline WTA, the ultimate recognition in the travel industry, was presented to Peter Baumgartner, Etihad’s Chief Commercial Officer, at gala event in London. The Abu Dhabi-based airline was also named “World’s Leading First Class” airline for the third year in a row.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “To win the award for ‘World’s Leading Airline’ two years running is a phenomenal and unprecedented achievement for an airline that is only seven years old.
“It shows that our service ethic is well embedded and that we have the ability to consistently deliver what customers want. The aviation industry is fiercely competitive and to win an accolade like this, and be placed amongst the best in the world, is something we will continue to strive for year on year.”
The WTA recognise the best airline, hospitality and tourism brands in the world, with industry experts vetting nominations on the basis of their customer relations, creativity, quality of service, product innovation and business acumen.
Etihad was the first Middle Eastern airline to win the “World’s Leading Airline” award in 2009 and was credited for the excellence of its onboard product, luxurious airport lounges and strong service ethic during a period of phenomenal growth.
Mr Hogan said: “The aviation industry continues to face stern challenges whether it is in security, the global recession, or natural disasters like the ash cloud in Europe, but Etihad has shown that it is equipped to manage through these difficulties and still deliver the best product and service to its customers.”
The winners for the WTA are selected by more than 185,000 industry professionals and consumers worldwide who cast their vote online. During the voting session Etihad received considerable praise for consistently being the best in the air and on the ground.
Etihad’s success in London caps a great year for the airline as it had won six titles at the WTA ceremony for the Middle East in May, including the coveted title as the region’s Leading Airline.