Kingfisher, Finnair voted among best carriers

London, May 30 (IANS) Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher Airlines has been voted the best Indian carrier and Finnair the best in north Europe in a global survey by an independent research agency — often called the Oscars of airline industry.

Kingfisher got the honours under three categories — best airline in India and Central Asia, best economy class seats and excellent staff service, while the Nordic carrier was awarded for its overall performance as a ‘four-star’ airline.

London-based Skytrax announced the results after a survey among 18 million air passengers from some 100 different countries that was carried out between July 2009 and April 2010.

‘Being recognised by Skytrax is an honour and we would like to thank our valued guests who chose to fly Kingfisher Airlines,’ said Mallya, whose business interests span airlines and Formula 1 racing to spirits and beer.

Kingfisher Airlines is one of just six airlines worldwide that currently meet the rigorous quality criteria which Skytrax set for this prestigious, top tier 5-Star airline ranking.

‘The greatest attribute behind five-star status is an airline’s ability to deliver the combination of product and service,’ said Skytrax chief executive Edward Plaisted.

‘The renewal of the five-star ranking to Kingfisher Airlines reaffirms its standing as the only airline in India and one of only six airlines in the world which has been awarded this status.’

Among the other honours: Oneworld has been named best interline pact, Cathay Pacific the best transpacific airline, Dragonair the best regional carrier and Qantas for best premium economy class and seat.

‘The customer is more important than anything to us so we are delighted at our customers’ feedback,’ said Christer Haglund, vice president of Finnair.

‘This confirms our product is already at the very highest level. Of course, we want to keep developing our service to make it even better.’

While Finnair, which flies to India six times a week, is a founder-member of Oneworld, Kingfisher is due to become its member soon, having signed a pact for membership in February.