Much to the likely chagrin of U.S. airlines, Airline Economics magazine has selected Etihad Airways as its Airline of the Year.
The announcement was made in Manila, Philippines, at the 2015 Aviation 100 Awards.
Domestic airlines have been running a verbal war with Etihad, and its fellow Middle East carriers Emirates and Qatar. American, Delta and United believe all three have an unfair competitive advantage in international flights by being subsidized by their respective governments.
In 2014 Etihad launched 10 new routes, including three in North America, and injected significant investment into new equity partnerships. Etihad also revealed a brand new look with new livery, uniforms and onboard offerings, with its first-of-kind “Residence by Etihad,” a virtual hotel room in the air.
“We are immensely proud that the achievements we made in 2014 have been recognized by our peers in the industry,” James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, said in a statement. “These awards remind us of the significant progress the airline has made in such a short space of time. We are looking forward to future accomplishments in 2015 and beyond as we continue to grow, with support of our employees, our equity partners and the industry.”
Philip Tozer-Pennington, managing editor of Airline Economics, said the Airline of the Year vote “recognizes performance in fleet and financial management and execution of business plan, which in the case of Etihad Airways also takes into account its amazing ability to expand at very little cost into key markets across the globe in 2014.”
Source: http://www.travelpulse.com/Rich Thomaselli