Emirates has been named “World's Best Airline” for the eighth consecutive year at the Business Traveler Middle East 2021 Awards. The airline also received the “Best First Class Airline” and “Best Economy Class Airline” awards.
The awards highlight Emirates' strategic approach to continually improving the passenger experience on board and on the ground. As part of this strategy, the airline offers a safe journey at all touchpoints, while not skipping any details, and at the same time continuing to meet changing passenger expectations during these most challenging times faced by the air transport industry.
To maintain its leading position in the industry, the airline is also more resolutely applying its digital approach to modernizing air travel, meeting the changing expectations of passengers to introduce biometric route and contactless check-in, provide added assurance and provide a safer and more contactless travel experience. . Today, from check-in to boarding gate, passengers are also familiar with the future of travel at more than 33 Emirates biometric checkpoints and close to 50 contactless kiosks at Dubai International Airport.
Emirates is working hard to facilitate travel and minimize restrictions, working closely with industry and government authorities to standardize medical documents related to Covid-19, such as vaccine registries and PCR test results. Emirates started piloting the IATA Travel Pass in April and will be fully operational on all flights by the end of May. Emirates is also liaising with Dubai Health Authority to digitally verify Covid-19 related medical records to further support a seamless and document-free check-in experience for passengers.
Also, with regard to protecting passengers' travel plans, the airline has expanded its efforts to offer more assurance and flexibility for an effortless journey. Passengers now have greater protection when planning and rebooking their trips, with up to 36 months of hassle-free rebooking in case of a change in status. Extending the status validity of Skywards members until 2022, Emirates continues to offer new ways to earn miles, including online and in-store shopping, as well as co-branded credit cards and other brand connections.
The airline made the first move in the industry, offering free Covid-19 insurance to help passengers travel more safely. This work has received positive feedback from passengers and the industry in general, and many airlines have started the same practice. By expanding this work, Emirates broke new ground in the industry and started offering multi-risk travel insurance and COVID-19 insurance. This generously offered insurance is offered to passengers free of charge for all tickets. In addition to COVID-19 health insurance, it also covers personal accidents during travel, winter sports, loss of personal belongings, unexpected closure of airspace, travel disruptions due to travel advisories or warnings, and other situations.
When passengers are ready to fly again, an even more enhanced in-flight experience awaits them in all cabin classes. Staying true to its commitment to “Fly Better”, Emirates has continued to invest in the inflight experience despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. Emirates' First Class leads the industry as one of the most luxurious first classes in the sky. Alongside the notorious fully enclosed suites of the Boeing 777-300ER Gamechanger, the new private suites on the A380 have been upgraded with additional improvements, such as wider and higher doors for even more privacy and comfort. Passengers traveling on the airline's flagship A380 will also be able to enjoy the in-flight Shower Spa, Onboard Lounge and many other touches that take air travel to a whole new level.
Emirates also offers generous and comfortable flights in Economy Class to its new passengers. Emirates has replaced the Economy seat on its latest A380 aircraft with ergonomically designed seats with all-leather headrests and vertically adjustable flexible side panels for optimum support. This new seat model offers a further evolution of the existing version on Emirates' Boeing 777 Gamechanger. Each seat features a stylish wood-textured veneer on folding tables and a 4500” personal screen to enjoy Emirates' award-winning platform, ice, which offers 13.3 channels.
Business Traveler Middle East awards are distributed in the field of business travel, covering all elements of the industry, from airline companies, airports, hotels and loyalty programs. Hundreds of industry professionals from across the region attended the event, while the awards were presented virtually. Airlines that make it to the final list are evaluated by a panel of travel experts, as well as the magazine's editorial team, in addition to feedback from readers.