Bittersweet Airline of the Year Win for Qatar Airways

by Daniel Nikulin
qatar airways skytrax

Amidst an airspace blockade and rising political tension from neighbouring countries, Qatar’s flagship carrier can at least celebrate a small win during what has been a pretty rough month.

During the Paris Air Show, Skytrax announced the winners of their annual World Airline Awards, naming Qatar Airways this year’s Airline of the Year. The polling consisted of 19.87 million travellers from over 100 countries.

The strained diplomatic relations between Qatar and Middle Eastern neighbours Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have forced the airline to cancel over 50 routes recently while adding flying time to many others, as the dispute resulted in the three nations closing their airspace to Qatar, leaving the carrier little room to maneuver.

Yet, the flying public has picked the lavish Doha-based airline as their favourite, beating out Singapore Airlines, ANA All Nippon Airways and last year’s winner, Emirates. Qatar Airways placed second last year and won in 2015 – their fourth top 3 finish in the past four years.

Along with World’s Best Airline, Qatar Airways also won for World’s Best Business Class, Best First Class Airline Lounge and Best Airline in the Middle East.

Here is the complete list of Skytrax‘ World’s Best Airlines for 2017.

Closer to home, our very own Air Canada took home the Best Airline in North America award, their sixth win of the award in eight years.

air canada

“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.” – Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive, Air Canada

A $10 billion capital expenditure program created to help Air Canada ‘elevate the travel experience’ was created in 2010, resulting in a shopping spree that saw the airline acquire 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, 61 Boeing 737 Max jets and 45 Bombardier CSeries planes.

Clearly, all of Air Canada’s new bells and whistles have helped.


From all of us at Flight Centre Canada, Congratulations, Air Canada!  


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