Travel

Etihad named top Mideast airline

Etihad named top Mideast airline

Etihad Airways emerged a big winner at the Middle East edition of the World Travel Awards this week, sweeping up awards in categories for leading airline, best first class service and top cabin crew.

Held in Dubai over the weekend, the regional awards for Middle East handed out gongs across dozens of categories recognizing the best in hotels, spas, rental car companies, travel agencies and tourist destinations.

While Etihad took the top prize in airlines, Emirates wasn’t far behind as it also snagged a trio of awards including best airline rewards program, best website and best business class service.

Last year, Etihad Airways was also voted the World’s Leading Airline for the fourth consecutive time and will be looking for a fifth win at the international awards in Las Vegas later this year — an impressive feat given that the airline launched in 2003.

The flagship carrier of the United Arab Emirates also pulled off a strong showing at the Skytrax World Airline Awards last summer, where it took home titles for best first class, best first class seats, and best first class catering.

Recently, the airline partnered with professional networking site LinkedIn to create an interactive mapping tool meant to serve as a power networking service for users traveling through the region.

The airline has also upped the ante in the airline industry launching premium services for passengers that include bringing personal, onboard chefs into its first class cabin, and installing ing-flight showers on their aircraft.

Meanwhile, the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi took the title of Middle East’s Leading Hotel, while Raffles Makkah Palace took the title of leading luxury hotel.

The next regional edition of the World Travel Awards, known as the Oscars of the travel industry, will be the Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony, May 12 in the Maldives.

The grand finale will take place in Las Vegas later this year.

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