Asiana Airlines has achieved the Grand Slam in the world's airline industry awards.
Asiana Airlines, led by President & CEO Yoon Young-doo, was selected as the "2010 Airline of the Year" at the "2010 Skytrax World Airline Awards" held in Hamburg, Germany on May 20 this year.
In February 2009, it was also designated as the Airline of the Year from Air transport World (ATW), the so-called Nobel Prize in the airline industry, a company spokesman said.
Ahead of this event, Aisana Airlines received the certification of five-star airline from the world-renowned airline research organization "Skytrax" in April 2007. Skytrax, which has been conducting surveys to passengers worldwide has announced its Airline of the Year since 2000.
Skytrax's survey is well known for its strict, reliable, independent and transparent survey which receives no funds from any third party. The survey is conducted online, offline as well as via phone interviews and numerous other methods for about 18 million airline passengers. Skytrax's participants in the survey range from ordinary travelers, business travelers, and panels that specialize in tourism which makes the survey's fairness highly rated.
This award represents a true recognition of the front-line products and services that Asiana Airlines delivers to its customers
"We would like to express our most heartfelt appreciation to our customers who voted us for the Skytrax 2010 Airline of the Year Award. Asiana Airlines is highly honored to be recognized as the world's top airline by our customers," the spokesman said.
Five-star level airline in service
Asiana Airlines was recognized as a ''five-star'' level carrier by the British transport research company Skytrax, becoming one of the world's six carriers honored with the label, with quite a large portion of the top quality service being attributable to its in-flight meals.
The best six carriers selected by Skytrax are Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airlines, Qatar Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Kingfisher Airlines.
"By winning the honor, Asiana Airlines has been recognized as the best airline in the world in terms of creative in-flight services," the spokesman said.
The national flag carrier provides various menus ranging from Korean to Western; Chinese to Italian. It also lists the calorie content of their meals for passengers who want to regulate their calorie intake.
Wine is another factor that enhances the in-flight meal service, as a wine consultant group led by the world's best sommeliers selects the carrier's wines.
Operation of OZ Quadra Smartium
Asiana Airlines is operating new business class seats, dubbed "OZ Quadra Smartium," which are arranged in a fresh layout to make each seat more private and comfortable, the spokesman said.
Since June this year, the company has been applying a first-class standard to its business class seats on selected routes.
"The effort is most visibly present in in-flight meal menus created by celebrity chef Edward Kwon and a wine lineup selected by award-winning sommeliers," he said.
The revamped seats are all about providing the utmost comfort for passengers. Full flat bed seats, which are usually featured only in first class seating, will help long-haul travelers sleep during the journey.
The number of seats in the business class areas for Boeing 777-200ERs has also been reduced from 32 to 24.
Furthermore, each seat is equipped with a rotating dining table and a cocktail table right next to the bed seat, on which customers can put their laptops and newspapers.
Passengers can also store their shoes, plug in a power adapter and connect a USB stick in the multi-functional storage attached to the seat. "We are offering the best in-flight office environment," said the spokesman.
Introduction of next-generation airplanes
Asiana Airlines concluded a contract to introduce 30 next-generation new environment airplanes, called A350WXB, from 2016 on a gradual basis, by investing some $6.7 billion.
"Over the coming three years, we will also invest $70 million in the project to upgrade in-flight facilities of 16 airplanes," he said.
"Under the belief that the best safety and service are the key factor to enhance international competitiveness, Asiana Airlines has set up a mid- and long-term investment plan. Under the project, we are now replacing existing B737 and 767 airlines with A321, A330 and B777 ones. And we will introduce 30 new A350XWB aircraft from 2016," said the spokesman.
A350XWB aircrafts boast of high fuel-efficiency, which shows a 20-30 percent improvement when compared to existing aircraft in fuel costs, and safety.
In-flight meal tie-up between Asiana and Edward Kwon
Asiana Airlines and Edward Kwon, the former chef of the seven-star hotel Burj Al Arab of Dubai, signed a deal with the airline to upgrade its catering services as of August 2010, the spokesman said.
One of the top 10 young chefs chosen by the American Culinary Federation in 2003, Kwon has wowed the likes of former U.S. President George Bush and Madonna, he said.
Some creative dishes that will be introduced by Kwon include "Peas, Bacon and Chicken Breast with Orange Cream" and "Slow Cooked Chicken Breast with Onion Puree." The brand-new menus for all classes and routes are available on the airliner's European routes.
The company also regularly invites top sommeliers from all over the world for strict evaluation of the in-flight wine lineup, he said. The latest event was held in April at the Incheon International Airport. A total of 22 local and foreign wine producers participated in the event and the sommeliers blind-tested 868 selections.