Emirates this week announced that it has once again scooped the coveted Airline of the Year title at the 2018 Air Transport Awards.
Whenever something like this happens I’m left wondering why our national carrier was barred from partnering with Emirates back in 2015.
What makes it worse this time, though, is that this week it was also reported that the South African flag carrier sunk further into debt for the nine months ended December 2017 posting a R1billion revenue shortfall. But with fresh blood at the helm let’s hope things will turn around.
Back to Emirates. The Dubai-based airline won its latest accolade based on the evaluation from a jury comprised of executives and experts from various sectors within the aviation industry.
Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Emirates received the award on behalf of the airline.
Commenting on the win, Antinori said: “We are honoured to be recognised by the Air Transport Awards for our commitment to excellence. We have a strong customer-centric focus across the airline to deliver the best possible experience both in the air and on the ground by continually investing in a modern fleet, product innovations and service enhancements. We are also embracing technology across our operations to meet and exceed evolving consumer preferences. This award is a testament to the hard work and efforts of staff across the airline that make a difference everyday by taking care of our customers and keeping our service levels high.”
Antinori is not exaggerating when he speaks about commitment to excellence by all staff. I had the pleasure of visiting Emirates’ cabin crew training center and Flight Catering Centre in Dubai a few years back. The attention to detail; work etiquette and reverence for the customer, which is how they viewed me during my visit, would be hard to beat by anyone’s standards.
That’s probably what has catapulted Emirates to the position of largest international airline in the world.
In South Africa, the airline operates a year-round daily flight from Durban, a three times daily service from Cape Town and four daily flights from Johannesburg, one of which is the behemoth Airbus A380 with its onboard bar and shower in the premium class cabins.