Monitor recognises airlines for service excellences in 2019

- A Monitor Special01 Feb, 2020 | 584 Views|-+
Dhaka : At a gala function on January 31, The Bangladesh Monitor announced its ratings, where airlines were awarded titles in 16 categories ranging from best airline to best domestic and budget airlines.

Emirate Airlines has won Monitor Airline of the Year award for 2019. The airline also won this award earlier five more times_ in 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2015. The award went to Singapore Airlines in 2014 and Etihad Airways in 2009-10.

Founded in 1985, and flying out of Dubai with just two aircraft, Emirates now has a fleet of more than 230 aircraft, and currently fly to over 140 destinations in more than 80 countries around the world. The Emirates network is expanding constantly, with over 1,500 flights departing Dubai each week on their way to destinations on six continents.

The awards were given based on voting by the frequent flyers. Over 2200 frequent flyers cast votes online in favour of their preferred airlines. The polling was formally launched on October 13, 2019 and ended on December 20. A strong jury comprising representatives from various professional groups thoroughly analysed the polling data and selected the winning airlines.

The most coveted awards in the Bangladesh airline industry were distributed, among the winning airlines in presence of a large number of local aviation industry elites, held at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka.

Kazi Wahidul Alam, Editor, The Bangladesh Monitor, Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al-Dehaimi, Ambassador of Qatar to Bangladesh, Prof Shibli Rebayatul Islam, Dean, Faculty of Business Studies and Chairman, Sadharan Bima Corp, Monjurul Ahsan Bulbul, Senior Journalist and Kashef Rahman, CEO, ShareTrip handed over the awards to the winners.

Organised by The Bangladesh Monitor, the premier travel and tourism publication of the country, the event was powered by the leading online travel agency ShareTrip.

Airlines were awarded in a total of 16 categories including four exclusively meant for the domestic carriers.

The winners

Emirates won the Gold award in the Airline of the Year 2019 category while Qatar Airways won the Silver and Singapore Airlines the Bronze award.

In the Domestic Airline of the Year category, NOVOAIR won the Gold while US-Bangla the Silver and Biman Bangladesh Airlines the Bronze award.

Qatar Airways was awarded the Gold trophy in the Cargo Airline of the Year category while Emirates the Silver and Cathay Dragon and Turkish Airlines shared the Bronze trophy.

Emirates became the highest number of trophy winner including Gold in the Airline of the Year, Best Business Class, Best In-flight Entertainment, Best Long-haul Airline and Best Frequent Flyer Programme categories.

Besides winning Gold in Cargo Airline of the Year category, Qatar Airways also won the Gold trophy in Best In-flight Meal in Business Class, Silver trophies in the Airline of the Year, Best Business Class, Best In-flight Entertainment and Best Long-haul Airline categories.

The national carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines won Gold in Best In-flight Meal in Economy Class, Best Improved Services categories and Bronze in Best Economy Class category.

Singapore Airlines was adjudged as the Best Short-haul Airline and Best Economy Class categories. Besides the airline received Silver in Frequent Flyer Programme and Bronze in Best Business Class, Best In-flight Entertainment, Best Long-haul Airline and Airline of the Year categories.

In the Best Budget Airline category, AirAsia won the Gold while IndiGo the Silver and Air Arabia the Bronze trophy.

In the Domestic Services Category, NOVOAIR won the Gold in the Domestic Airline of the Year and Best Customer Friendly Airline categories. The airline also received Silver trophy in the Best On Time Performance category and Bronze in the Best Onboard Services category.

US-Bangla won Gold in the Best on Time Performance Category and Silver in Best Onboard Services, Best Customer Friendly Airline and Best Domestic Airline categories.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines won the Gold in the Best Onboard Services Category and Bronze in the Best Domestic Airline of the Year and Best on Time Performance categories.

Passenger Survey

Started in 2008, The Monitor Airline of the Year survey is designed to provide objective and in-depth insights into the preferences and behaviours of air travellers of the market. This effort is to help the travel industry continuously adapt to market changes and new technology to provide a seamless and personalised passenger journey to air travellers.

Survey like this helps discover the latest findings on behaviours and preferences of passengers linked to their travel journey and experiences; from preparing their luggage for the journey to moving through the airport or using Wi-Fi on board.

The Airline of the Year awards were introduced in 2007 by The Bangladesh Monitor. Current version of the Monitor Airline of the Year 2019 was powered by ShareTrip as the Lead Sponsor while was supported by renowned GDS company MGH Travelport as the Technology Partner, MasterCard as the Payment Partner and Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka as the Hospitality Partner.

The justification

Speaking on the occasion, Kazi Wahidul Alam, Editor of The Bangladesh Monitor welcomed all the guest present at the function.

He said that The Bangladesh Monitor instituted "Airline of the Year" awards in the year 2007 to monitor and judge service standards of the airlines, operating in Bangladesh and to create a healthy competition amongst themselves.

"After more than a decade, we are not quite sure how far we are through to achieve this objective, but we have made at least some difference, I believe, we have to keep up our efforts. I am sure; this would certainly yield some results one day", he added.

On the existing situation Kazi Wahidul Alam said that Bangladesh is still considered to be a sellers' market for the airlines, as demand for airline seats are higher than the available capacity. As a result, almost all the airlines enjoy over 80 per cent load factor almost throughout the entire year, which is much above than the industry average worldwide.

Bangladesh is among the top revenue generating countries for a number of airlines operating here. But unfortunately the kind of attention our travellers should have received from the foreign airlines in terms of upgrading their overall service standards, is not seen.

"We often hear complaints from regular travellers that they experience completely two distinctly different standard of services, when they travel from Dhaka to an airline's home base and then onward to other destinations. The onboard meal and other services from Dhaka to their home base is just ordinary, cabin crews are not very caring to their passengers. But the same passengers, when get on board for their onward journey to any European or American destinations, the treatment is completely different, much better services, more choices for meals and cabin crews are also found to be more caring to their passengers," Alam mentioned.

Bangladeshi passengers although constitute a significant part of their global passenger base, most of the airlines do not care to offer Bangla in-flight contents, like movies, music or other entertainment programmes on board, only excepting a handful few.

Alam said, "I am not speaking of all these from my mind, but those are the feedbacks, we have received from frequent travellers of Bangladesh, whom we have interviewed individually for their opinions. The airlines need to address these issues and take those up with their head office."

However, he said, not all the airlines fall under the above categories. "There are exceptions and we have been trying to single them out, through this opinion poll." He further expressed the hope that this is going to benefit the air travel industry in the first place and the travelling people as a whole.

Alam extended thanks to the members of the jury board for doing a tremendous job, General Manager of Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel for support and cooperation in organising the event and ShareTrip, Travelport and Mastercard for their support and cooperation in conducting the poll.

Rejaul Amin Sohail, Director, MasterCard, Daraz Mahmud, General Manager, MGH Travelport, Stephen James Peters, General Manager, Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka and Tanveer Ali, Director, ShareTrip and Executive Director, Olympic Group also spoke on the occasion.

The poll and positive impact

Chairman of Jury Committee, Prof Shibli Rebayatul Islam, Dean, Faculty of Business studies and Chairman, Sadharan Bima Corp in his speech said, "Monitor Airline of the Year award programme, on one hand, will not only encourage the winning airlines to maintain their service standard, but also upgrade it further, while it would greatly motivate others to reach that level. Thus, it will play a pivotal role in bringing in a qualitative change in the airline industry of Bangladesh."

He also informed, "Members of the Jury Board this time has taken a decision to award three different airlines in each category - Bronze, Silver and Gold; coming out from our previous instances of awarding only the top one. We had to take this decision, when we observed that in most cases, difference between the airlines for the top position was so narrow, that it became a bit unfair to recognise only one. In this case, all members of the jury board decided unanimously to announce three awards in each category, which we have already implemented from this session."

The chairman of the jury committee further said, "The airline industry has been recording phenomenal growth in Bangladesh, not only in terms of international air travels, but also in the domestic sectors, as well as cargo transportation. National carrier Biman Bangladesh Airline has now the youngest fleet and expanding fast, so as the other private airlines. Foreign airlines are also upgrading their aircraft and increasing capacities for the Bangladesh market, which has paved the way for healthy competition among themselves. This would ultimately benefit the customers in terms of competitive fares and better service quality."

The rating details

Best In-flight Meal (Economy Class) : Gold - Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Silver - Emirates and Bronze - Thai Airways.

Best In-flight Meal (Business Class) : Gold - Qatar Airways, Silver - Emirates and Bronze - Turkish Airlines.

Best In-flight Entertainment : Gold - Emirates, Silver - Qatar Airways and Bronze - Singapore Airlines.

Best Frequent Flyer Programme : Gold - Emirates (Skywards), Silver - Singapore Airlines (KrisFlyer) and Bronze - Thai Airways (Royal Orchid).

Best Business Class : Gold - Emirates, Silver - Qatar Airways and Bronze - Singapore Airlines.

Best Economy Class : Gold - Singapore Airlines, Silver - Emirates and Bronze - Biman Bangladesh Airlines.

Most Improved Services in 2019 : Gold - Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Silver - Kuwait Airways and Bronze - US-Bangla Airlines.

Best Short-haul Airline : Gold - Singapore Airlines, Silver - Thai Airways and Bronze - Cathay Dragon.

Best Long-haul Airline : Gold - Emirates, Silver - Qatar Airways and Bronze - Singapore Airlines.

Budget Airline of the Year 2019 : Gold - AirAsia, Silver - IndiGo and Bronze - Air Arabia.

Best Onboard Services (Domestic) : Gold - Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Silver - US-Bangla Airlines and Bronze - NOVOAIR.

Best Customer Friendly Airline (Domestic) : Gold - NOVOAIR, Silver - US-Bangla Airlines and Bronze - Regent Airways.

Best On-time Performance (Domestic) : Gold - US-Bangla Airlines, Silver - NOVOAIR and Bronze - Biman Bangladesh Airlines.

Domestic Airline of the Year 2019 : Gold - NOVOAIR, Silver - US-Bangla Airlines and Bronze - Biman Bangladesh Airlines.

Cargo Airline of the Year 2019 : Gold - Qatar Airways, Silver - Emirates and Bronze - Cathay Dragon and Saudia.

Airline of the Year 2019 : Gold - Emirates, Silver - Qatar Airways and Bronze - Singapore Airlines.

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