Airline of the Year: Etihad Airways
This award is designed to honour the airline that has experienced a breakthrough period of success over the past 12 months. The judges were looking at route development, aircraft investments and upgrades, customer loyalty programmes, in-flight services, industry alliances and financial performance.
After another busy 12 months, Etihad Airways was honoured as 2010’s Airline of the Year. The airline expects to carry 7.3 million passengers in calendar year 2010 and report a seat load factor of 77%. Five new destinations have been added this year and the fleet is expected to number 57 planes, including six freighters, by the end of the year.
Etihad has increased its Emiratisation level to 12% from 8% last year and its first female captain joined the crew in September. The company has also been talking more and more about financial performance and it expects to break even in 2011 and to start delivering net profits from 2012.