Air Canada is bringing home five trophies from the prestigious Skytrax World Airline Awards.
Air Canada was named Best Airline in North America for the third consecutive year and recognized for the world’s Best Business Class Lounge Dining, Best Airline Staff in Canada, Best Business Class in North America and Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in North America at the 2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards ceremony held Tuesday at the International Paris Air Show. It is the eighth time in the past ten years the carrier was selected as the Best in North America by the World Airline Awards, which are based on passenger satisfaction surveys of more than 21 million global travellers.
Winning an award at Skytrax is one thing. But winning five is a major accomplishment.
“I am very proud that Air Canada has been recognized as the Best Airline in North America for the third straight year and eighth time in ten years. The Skytrax World Airline Awards are global, highly regarded recognitions. Our continued success winning these awards shows we have truly transformed Air Canada into a leading global carrier focused on a superior product offering and customer service excellence. I commend our 33,000 award winning employees whose hard work transporting our customers safely and comfortably has awarded us best airline staff in Canada and is enabling us to compete effectively against some of the largest airlines in the world,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada.
“We also thank our customers for their loyalty and for recognizing our efforts. The fact Air Canada has been repeatedly voted the Best Airline in North America underscores our commitment to continue enhancing all aspects of the travel experience. This includes such innovations as upgrades to our in-flight entertainment systems, the introduction of onboard Wi-fi, new and refurbished lounges, streamlined airport processes, our narrow-body fleet renewal program, a new reservation system to vastly improve bookings management and, next year, a new loyalty program that we aim to make the industry’s best.”
The Star Alliance, of which Air Canada is a founding member, was also named world’s best airline alliance by Skytrax.
“Air Canada’s achievement of being named the Best Airline in North America for the eighth time is a remarkable achievement, and it is a fitting tribute for all Air Canada staff that they continue to receive such a vote of confidence from customers. We are also delighted to see Air Canada Signature Suite in Toronto Pearson Airport recognised as the World’s Best Business Class Dining Experience,” said Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax.
Since 2010, Air Canada has embarked on a $12 Billion capital expenditure program to elevate the travel experience which has included:
– An expanded global network connecting over its Canadian gateway hubs to more than 220 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America. Air Canada is one of only a few airlines in the world to serve all six inhabited continents;
– A wide body fleet renewal program that introduced Boeing 777s and state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliners and which includes a significant refurbishment of the A330 fleet to the Dream cabin;
– A narrow body fleet renewal which included the entry into the fleet of the Boeing 737MAX aircraft, and the Airbus A220-300 jets entering the fleet in 2019;
– Best in class cabin interiors across its wide-body fleet, featuring lie-flat direct aisle access Signature Class seats and a dedicated Premium Economy cabin offering increased pitch and width;
– Signature Class Service internationally and on select flights on prime North American routes which include Toronto to and from Vancouver, San Francisco Los Angeles and, for next winter, Honolulu; Montreal to and from Vancouver; New York (Newark) to/from Vancouver, featuring an end-to-end premium travel experience with seamless airport-to-onboard services with exclusive services and amenities;
– BMW service to international flights at the Toronto global hub;
– New International, Domestic and U.S. Maple Leaf Lounges, including the Air Canada Signature Suite for eligible customers travelling in Signature Class internationally at its Toronto Pearson global hub. The suite features a la carte dining with a menu created by celebrated Canadian Chef David Hawksworth;
– Ongoing customer service training initiatives for customer-facing in-flight, airport, baggage and call centre employees;
– Technological innovations to facilitate customer interactions, including a new website compatible with all types of devices for a consistent experience, ongoing refinements of mobile technology, and increased investments in Artificial Intelligence to further develop customer-focused capabilities and information management;
– Enhanced onboard amenities such as signature dishes prepared by Chef David Hawksworth coupled with wine pairings by world-renowned sommelier Veronique Rivest, and in-flight Wi-fi connectivity fleet-wide in North America, which is now being progressively implemented onboard the international fleet, to complement Air Canada’s personal seatback In-Flight Entertainment System that offers hundreds of hours of free digital audio-visual content.
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Emirates Announces Firing Employees Amid the Pandemic
Emirates Airline, the last holdout among the Gulf region‘s three major East-West carriers in retaining its workforce announced on May 31, 2020, that it had fired an undisclosed number of employees, due to the near-shutdown of global air travel amid COVID-19.
The other two—Abu Dhabi’s Etihad and Doha-based Qatar Airways—had already scaled back in terms of staffing as the virus spread, virtually eliminating passenger demand and causing international borders to slam shut.
While Emirates has been applauded during the pandemic for continuing to run repatriation flights around the globe, as well as delivering cargo and critical supplies, it has been dramatically affected by the halting of international passenger travel, just like the rest of the world’s airlines.
In a statement, the company said, “We have endeavored to sustain the current family as is…but have come to the conclusion that we, unfortunately, have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people that worked with us.”
Without revealing any particulars of the mass firing, Emirates assured that those being axed from its workforce would be treated, “with fairness and respect.”
ABC News reported that to try and balance some of the immense losses the airline continues to suffer, Dubai’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, injected an undisclosed amount of equity into its operations back in March.
Although the flag carrier, owned by a Dubai sovereign wealth fund, had already reduced its staff members’ pay during the course of the global health crisis.
Meanwhile, Emirates’ home base, Dubai International Airport—typically the world’s busiest in terms of international passenger traffic—has also been running only a fraction of its normal operations.
Dubai, which has positioned itself as a critical hub for the free movement of people, goods and capital from around the globe (all of which the pandemic has disrupted), now depends heavily upon a resumption of activity at its airport.
For more information, visit emirates.com.
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