Emirates has been rated as one of the seven best airlines in the world by World Class, a newly launched awards and accreditation system.
A system developed by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (Apex), in collaboration with Yates and Partners, an aviation guest experience consultancy, World Class was launched on Tuesday.
Recognising that the industry has undergone a seismic shift in the past two years, it rates airlines based on “the key metrics that matter to travellers today”. Among these are sustainability and well-being, as well as space, comfort and cuisine.
“Apex is helping aviation transform and better serve its customers and our society,” says Joe Leader, chief executive of Apex.
Keith Yates, chair of Yates and Partners, described World Class as “every airline’s North Star.” To be awarded World Class status, airlines must qualify via a series of steps, including an audit conducted by industry professionals from Yates and Partners; a peer review by Max Winchester, associate professor at Victoria University, Melbourne; and a review of customer comments over the course of one year.
“This is every CEO’s must-achieve award. It’s the brand recognition that says, ‘this airline knows what matters to today’s airline customer, and they have demonstrated they can consistently deliver it’,” says Yates.
Emirates was described as offering elegant service delivery, high standards, engaging crew, best in class entertainment (IFE) and a quality-first mindset. Japan Airlines, KLM, Saudia, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways were also among the inaugural airlines to be granted World Class status.
“World Class audits look at the vital measures by which an airline is judged. Safety has always been the important dimension of aviation, but well-being, keeping me safe, goes well beyond seamless service," says Yates.
"It’s at the forefront of every guest’s mind. The air travellers of the 21st century think beyond themselves and their own immediate goals. They also want to know – is it sustainable? Is it responsible?
“Airlines are under pressure from their customers, their finance sources and their governments to act sustainably. Visible in-cabin sustainability initiatives are the now necessity. Alongside safety and well-being and sustainability, World Class recognises excellence in superior service, brand integrity, space and comfort, presence, customer recognition and relevance of cuisine.”