First US carrier to win the prestigious award since its
OAG (Official Airline Guides), the
world's leading source of independent flight schedule information,
announced that Continental Airlines was named 2004 Airline of the
Year at a ceremony at The Park Lane Hotel in London.
Continental Airlines is the first US-based carrier to win the
title since the awards were established 22 years ago. Continental
also won the Best Executive/Business Class category and was voted
Best Airline based in North America in the OAG awards.
The awards, based on votes polled by a worldwide audience of
business travelers, attracted an array of senior figures from the
aviation industry. British television personality, Clive Anderson,
presented the awards.
This year, Best Marketing Campaign was introduced as a new
category and was won by United Airlines for their "We Are United
UK" campaign. LanChile won the award for Best Airline based in
Central/South America & Caribbean for the second year
OAG also presented a Lifetime
Achievement Award to Lord Marshal, Chairman of British Airways.
Eddie Bell, Chairman of OAG, praised Lord Marshall's great
contribution to the airline industry over the last 20 years saying.
"He has done a spectacular job, in difficult circumstances, for the
airline industry," said Mr. Bell.
The Outstanding Service Award, presented to airline or airport
staff who have acted above and beyond the call of duty, was awarded
to bmi flight attendants Karen Cornelius, Sally Cast and Ellen
Davies, whose quick thinking and cool heads saved a passenger who
suffered a massive heart attack on board a flight from Chicago to
Using BMI's special diagnostic equipment, the flight attendants
linked via satellite to doctors in the casualty unit of an Arizona
hospital and literally helped save passenger Stephen Clarke's
Eddie Bell, commented on the OAG Awards and said
"Congratulations to Continental Airlines on winning the OAG Airline
of the Year Awards. Continental has consistently improved the
quality of its service and this fact has been duly recognized by
Bell continued, "We are especially delighted, this year, to
present an OAG Lifetime Achievement Award to Lord Marshall from
British Airlines. His long standing service and valuable
contribution to the industry has been magnificent, guiding British
Airlines through some turbulent times."
The Asia Pacific region fared very well, with Singapore Airlines
taking home four awards including Best International First Class
and Best Economy/Coach Class. Cathay Pacific Airways won Best
Trans-Pacific Airline, and Australian based Virgin Blue won best
Low Cost/No Frills Airline, beating incumbent title holder
Southwest Airlines as well as EasyJet and Ryanair.
UK flag carrier, British Airways, took home two prestigious
awards: Best Airline Based in Western Europe and Best
CSA Czech Airlines won the Best Airline based in Central/Eastern
Europe for the first time.