Australian carriers have lost out to their high-flying cousin across the ditch, as Air New Zealand took home the gong for world’s best airline.
Snatching the slot off last year’s winner, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand was praised for its record-breaking performance, in-flight innovations, and reducing its carbon footprint by 22 per cent over the past 10 years, at the prestigious awards run by airlineratings.com.
Monash University aviation expert and co-author of Up in the Air, Greg Bamber, said it was a “great achievement for the airline”.
“This is a great achievement for Air New Zealand given its a relatively small airline, based in a small country, in a relatively remote part of the world and its competition was big airlines based in Europe, Asia and in North America. So, it’s a great achievement,” Professor Bamber said.
The integral factor to the airline’s success was that it works with its staff, he said.
“One of the secrets of its success has been a determined strategy to have a high degree of workforce engagement,” Professor Bamber said.
“The assumption Air New Zealand is making is if it has a happy workforce then the workforce will ensure it has happy customers and they’ll return, thereby creating a circle.
“This could be compared with British Airways, one of the biggest airlines in the world which used to be ranked as the world’s favourite airline. It’s slipped to No.17 in this list and we can attribute that to some extent by the poor industrial relations it has fostered in recent years,” Professor Bamber said.