Qatar Airways Eyes 10% Stake in American Airlines

"We are delighted to be recognized as the Best Airline in North America by Skytrax based on the opinions of those who know us best: our customers".

The award comes as the Doha-based airline struggles to deal with an attempt by Qatar's neighbors to isolate the country. This year's edition tallied 19.87 million votes by passengers from 105 different countries, asking customers to nominate the airline they think is the best, and giving grades on a 1-5 scale for both airport and onboard experience.

The prestigious World Airline Awards are widely considered to be a global benchmark of airline excellence.

"At these hard times of illegal bans on flights out of my country by big bullies, this is an award not to me, not to my airline, but to my country", Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker said at the Paris Air Show ceremony on Tuesday.

American Airlines previously raised concerns that the US carrier could be crushed out of key markets due to the subsidies Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates receive from the home countries, claiming that these would create unfair competition.

The airline, which has always placed importance on the strength of its frontline staff, also demonstrated its commitment by having its cabin crew head, Suhaila Hassan, receive the award on its behalf. It's been an incredible 20 years, being part of AirAsia's journey from a domestic Malaysian airline to the world's best.

Hainan Airlines, the only carrier in mainland China that was nominated, was ranked ninth in the World's Top 20 Airlines 2017, up three places from past year, according to SKYTRAX's annual passenger survey.

Norwegian was named the World's Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline by the renowned SkyTrax World Airline Awards in 2015 and 2016, and for the fourth consecutive year, named Europe's Best Low-Cost Airline. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet now includes eight Airbus 330Fs, 11 Boeing 777 freighters and one Boeing 747 freighter.

  • Zachary Reyes