Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific still ranks among top five airlines in the world, with other Hong Kong carriers also taking home accolades

Cathay Dragon and Hong Kong Airlines named among top three world’s best regional airlines

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 June, 2017, 3:18pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 June, 2017, 11:12pm

Hong Kong’s airlines have put in a strong performance over the past year, with Cathay Pacific Airways, Cathay Dragon and Hong Kong Airlines ranking among the best in the world, according to a survey by aviation review and ranking site Skytrax.

The Skytrax World Airline Awards 2017, held in Paris on Tuesday, saw almost 20 million travellers casting votes in a number of categories. The website surveyed 325 airlines in total.

Qatar Airways scooped the top prize of world’s best airline ahead of Singapore Airlines, Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Dubai’s Emirates.

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Cathay Pacific, which has won the award four times, landed in the fifth position this time, down one spot from last year.

The ranking comes amid a major transformation effort at the city’s loss-making flag carrier, which slashed 600 jobs. The airline is also investing heavily in improving frontline services with new aircraft, seats and airport lounges.

In the category of the world’s best regional airlines, Hong Kong’s carriers lost out to Bangkok Airways, which took the first spot. Hong Kong Airlines came in second, ahead of Cathay Dragon in third place. All three were also winners in the best Asian regional airline category.

Passengers in the survey ranked Hong Kong airlines as the 10th “most improved” airline in the world, noting efforts by the third-biggest carrier in the city to move towards being an influential intercontinental airline and a rival to Cathay Pacific.

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The Hainan Airlines-owned company is making a big push to improve its services and standards, while shaking up competition as it branches out into long-haul flights. It will take delivery of new, modern aircraft later this year.

Hong Kong Airlines vice chairman, Tang King-shing, a retired police commissioner, said the airline would soon expand its network beyond Asia Pacific into Canada.

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Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific ranked fourth in the world’s best airport service, came in ninth place for the best cabin crew, and took the eighth spot for the best airline staff in Asia, which measures the overall ratings of frontline staff.

But in the cleanest aircraft cabins category, the carrier slipped from its top position to fifth.

The drop follows a report by the Post earlier this year, which revealed that the airline had lengthened the time between deep cleaning aircraft. Cathay Dragon was ranked 14th in the same category.

Cathay Pacific also ranked in the top 10 for the best business and first-class seats and 13th for its premium economy product.

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon cut back on deep-cleaning schedules

But the carrier was surprisingly omitted from being ranked in the economy class category. This followed an announcement by the airline on installing a 10-seat configuration in its economy-class cabins next year – a move which some passengers have criticised.

However, this tighter configuration did not affect the rankings of some airlines, which were included and honoured in the 2017 awards.

In response to the Skytrax recognition, a Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon spokeswoman said: “Every award serves as a motivation to us.”

The company said as part of its business transformation changes, it would “step up our efforts in listening to our customers’ feedback and in examining every aspect and detail of our products and services for improvement”.