Abu Dhabi-headquartered Etihad Airways on Thursday said it won two major awards.
Etihad Airways’ excellence in service and hospitality has been recognised once again with the Abu Dhabi-based carrier winning the Best International Airline Award at the annual Condé Nast Traveller India Readers’ Travel Awards 2016.
The national airline of the United Arab Emirates was presented with the accolade at a prestigious awards ceremony attended by illustrious travel industry peers at The Lodhi Hotel in New Delhi.
Now in its sixth edition, the Condé Nast Traveller India Readers’ Travel Awards recognise excellence across different sectors of the travel industry – from airlines, hotels and cruise lines, to destinations, spas and luxury resorts.
The latest honour comes in the same week as Etihad Airways won the world’s leading airline award at the World Travel Awards for the eight consecutive year during a glittering ceremony in the Maldives.
Etihad Airways’ renowned dedication to innovation, quality service and comfort was recognised in the Condé Nast readers’ poll carried out over two months. The airline was singled out for its revolutionary and best in-class innovative designs, together with offering a superior customer experience.
India is one of Etihad Airways’ key markets, operating 252 scheduled flights a week with strategic partner Jet Airways from 15 cities across the country to Abu Dhabi, with onward connections to destinations worldwide.
Neerja Bhatia, Etihad Airways Vice President Indian Subcontinent, said: “It is a great honour for Etihad Airways to be recognised by travellers for reaching these heights in one of the most dynamic aviation markets in the world. This year has been extra special for us in India as we introduced our flagship Airbus A380 with award-winning interiors on the Mumbai – Abu Dhabi route.
“Condé Nast Traveller represents the world of luxury and this award is testament to our world class product and service, as well as our commitment to the India market, recognising the passion and dedication of our employees here and globally.”
Etihad Airways and Jet Airways together fly one in five travellers to and from India – the biggest combined market share of any international carrier. Indian cities served are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Thiruvananthapuram.
Next year, Chandigarh, Kannur and Tiruchirappalli will be introduced to the Etihad Airways / Jet Airways route network between India and the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, taking the total weekly frequency linking both markets to 280 scheduled flights. With onward connections via Abu Dhabi to cities across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and North America, as well as a large network offering in Asia and Australia, Etihad Airways has become the airline of choice.
In May this year, Etihad Airways introduced its A380 to the Indian market, operating a daily scheduled flight between Mumbai and the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub. The A380 features Etihad Airways’ signature The Residence – the only three-room suite in commercial aviation – nine First Apartments, 70 Business Studios, and 415 Economy Smart Seats.
Top Airbus A380 accolade
Airbus, manufacturer of the A380 aircraft, has presented Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, won the award for ‘Top Operational Excellence’ for A380 operations in 2015-2016.
The Etihad Airways A380 fleet recorded a remarkable 99.63 per cent operational reliability between January 2015 and October 2016, the highest of all 13 airlines which operate the Airbus A380 aircraft.
Operational reliability is a standard international index measuring flight operations subject to delays or defects. High performance in this index verifies the operating capability of the airline and the priority given to maintenance and safety management.
Jeff Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways Engineering, said: “Our entire team is totally focused on achieving the highest levels of reliability across our fleet. The A380 has been a fantastic addition to our fleet over the past two years and this award demonstrates excellence and the success of our ongoing close cooperation with Airbus.”
The award was presented by Christian Fremont, Airbus Head of A380 Programme Support, at Airbus’s A380 Symposium in Munich, Germany, this week.
Etihad Airways has eight Airbus A380s in service, with two more scheduled for delivery. The aircraft operates from the carrier’s Abu Dhabi hub to London, New York, Mumbai, Melbourne and Sydney.