For the sixth time in eight years, Air Canada has been named Best Airline in North America in the 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, held this year at the International Paris Air Show. Air Transat also earned high honours, named Best Leisure Airline in North America for the sixth consecutive year, and placing second in the Best Leisure Airline in the World category.
The Skytrax Awards, based on a survey of almost 20 million air travellers, is recognized as a global benchmark of industry excellence.
"We are delighted to be recognized as the Best Airline in North America by Skytrax based on the opinions of those who know us best: our customers. This award is a significant milestone in the transformation of Air Canada into one of the world's leading carriers and is all the more meaningful given the increased competition in our industry," said AC president & CEO Calin Rovinescu.
Benjamin Smith, president, Passenger Airlines at AC, says the award shows customers are “enthusiastically embracing” the investments the airline is making in its products and services.
“These include the introduction of the state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner into our fleet, a widening choice of destinations to choose from in our expanding global network, refurbished aircraft interiors featuring our next-generation lie-flat Business Class seats on all of our Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft and dedicated Premium Economy cabins, as well as other enhanced amenities ranging from sharply restyled Maple Leaf Lounges to signature dishes and wine pairings onboard."
Jean-François Lemay, TS President-General Manager called it an honour to be recognized by this “prestigious international award” for the sixth consecutive year.
“Thanks to our on-board experience, attentive crew and cabin comfort, passengers feel on vacation as soon as they board the aircraft. Families also benefit from special attentions, including priority check-in and boarding, as well as our Kids Club that keeps youngsters busy. Finally, our Option Plus and Club Class upgrades, as well as our recently enhanced meal offer with the Chef’s Menu by Daniel Vézina, help get the vacation started even before reaching the destination.”
The World Airline Awards began in 1999 when Skytrax launched its first global airline passenger satisfaction survey. The survey collects travellers’ opinions on 320 airlines over a 10-month period and in 105 countries. Airlines are ranked according to nearly 50 criteria, from check-in and boarding to staff service and seat comfort. This year’s survey polled more than 19 million passengers worldwide.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years.