Stalwarts and senior executives from the region’s Aviation industry turned out in large numbers to celebrate and applaud the winners of the 9thedition of the Aviation Business Awards yesterday.
The Awards were handed over at a glittering grand finale held yesterday at the Park Hyatt hotel in Dubai. Winners across 15 categories and three highly commended nominees drew the spotlight at the event.
The evening’s event was the culmination of a 2 months long awards process that included getting detailed nominations entries submitted by leading companies from most segments of the aviation industry. The winners were decided from amongst shortlisted nominations by a four member independent jury drawn from senior leaders of the industry as well as including the editor of Aviation Business.
Amongst several highlights, Air Arabia walked away with two awards; it won the Low Cost Airline of the Yearas well as the Airline of the Year (Middle East). The airline has achieved several milestones in the year including expansion of number of destinations in its network, new aircrafts induction as well as launch of the first loyalty programme from a regional low-cost carrier.
Honeywell won the Engineering Innovation of the Year award, a recognition of several launches from the company including the Weather Information Service unveiled as an Electronic Flight Bag application to provide flight crew with up to date weather information.
Emirates Aviation University received the recognition Training Provider of the Year for continuing to enhance its education and training facility which gives graduates a proven platform to launch successful careers in the aviation industry. Among its most recent initiatives is a purpose-built air traffic control training facility in Dubai.
Oman Air was the winner of the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year, a recognition of its initiative to assist people on low incomes to make their air travel easier.
ExecuJet was highly commended nominee in the FBO (Fixed Base Operator) of the Year category, a recognition of the diverse range of Fixed Base Operation services that it offers from their state-of-the-art facilities at Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central.
Gama Sharjah FBO was the winner of the FBO of the Year category.This was a due recognition of its outstanding growth investments including opening of a new VIP lounge as well as securing more real estate on the airport's apron for business jet parking, two hangar leases. It will also have a third hangar scheduled for construction completion in 2016.
KAFCO - Kuwait Aviation Fuelling Company was handed the winner’s trophy for the Ground Support Services Provider of the Year category. This was also a recognition of its consistent and outstanding safety record. The company’s fuelling facilities have been audited by almost every airline and its latest investments include a comprehensive state of the art depot project.
The General Civil Aviation Authority was the winner of the Technology Implementation of the Year category. This was a recognition of its deployment of a solution that has been successful in increasing internal process efficiency, reducing operational costs, achieving high system availability and ensuring that customers receive services in the most efficient and effective manner.
Empire Aviation Group emerged as the winner of the Aircraft Management Service provider of the Year. The company that operates the region’s largest managed fleet of business jets with over 25 aircrafts based in the Middle East, India, Africa and Hong Kong is showing more than 15% year on year growth.
The inaugural Travel Agent – Tour Operator of the Year award category saw Flight Centre Travel Group recognised as the highly commended nominee. One of the world's top travel management companies, Flight Centre Travel Group has been operating in the Middle East since 2008
The winner of the Travel Agent – Tour Operator of the Year award was Kanoo Travel, one of the largest and oldest travel management companies in the Middle East that continues to strike an impressive growth rate.
Etihad Airways Engineering walked away as winner of the MRO Service Provider of the Year - Middle East that continues to enhance its aircraft maintenance facilities which is already among the world’s most technologically advanced.
MRO Service Provider of the Year – International went to Turkish Technic, a company that offers a variety of maintenance services through its diversified shops, including airframe heavy maintenance, engine and APU overhaul and LDG overhaul amongst others.
Business Aviation Operator of the Year category saw Royal Jet being recognized as a highly commended nominee. In 2014, the company operated over 2,660 flights and flew to over 250 airports in more than 105 countries and is arguably the world's largest single Boeing Business Jet operator.
The winner in the category Business Aviation Operator of the Year was Qatar Executive, a company which is consistently enhancing its position as one of the foremost private jet operators in the world. It is improving its fleet with the introduction of 30 aircrafts as part of a MoU signed with Gulfstream and has also extended its international footprint enabling chartering services for customers within Greater China and South-East Asia.
British Airways was the winner of the Airline of the Year (International).The airline has a long heritage in the region for many decades and has, over the past five years substantially increased the number of flights originating from the region
The final award of the evening in the Airport of the Year category went to Dubai International. In 2014, this airport became the busiest hub for international passenger traffic. During the year ending September 2015, 22 airlines increased their services to this airport, two new airlines joined the airport’s network, 17 new destinations were added to its network while frequency to 65 destinations was increased
Turkish Airlines was the platinum sponsor of the Awards. The other sponsors of the evening included Honeywell, Royal Jet and Etihad Airways Engineering.