By Nisha Ramchandani
(SINGAPORE) Singapore Airlines (SIA) has won the world's best airline and best business class categories in the 2008 Skytrax World Airline Awards.
It is the third time in 10 years that SIA has been named Airline of the Year. And it won the business class award despite stiffer competition.
'Business class standards continue to be upgraded by airlines worldwide,' said Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted. 'It's the whole business class package that is evaluated - from airport lounges to quality of cabin seating, catering and cabin staff service.'
Cathay Pacific won the best first class award and was placed second in the overall rankings. Qantas was placed third.
Breaking into the top 10 list this year is Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways, which clinched 10th spot. Much like Emirates and Qatar Airways, Etihad has been adding new routes and new aircraft.
Korea's Asiana Airlines won this year's award for best economy class, while the award for best low-cost airline went to UK-based easyJet. For the first time, Dragonair was named best regional airline in South-east Asia, though SIA was voted best airline in Asia.
The awards were based on 15 million survey interviews conducted over a period of almost a year.
This articles was first published in The Business Times on August 14, 2008.