Four airlines retain SKYTRAX's highest 5-Star rating for 2014

Four airlines have retained their 5-Star rating from airline and airport review specialists SKYTRAX, while three airlines given the award in 2013 have not had the honor bestowed anew.

SKYTRAX renewed the five-star rating for Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) for the second consecutive year on March 17, while three other airlines that held the coveted rating in 2013 passed SKYTRAX’s “renewal audit” and were reconfirmed 5-Star carriers earlier this year. The agency announced it had reconfirmed Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines on Feb. 6.

Airlines with 2013 5-Star awards that have not been renewed as of this writing are Asiana Airlines, Hainan Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines.

According to SKYTRAX, the rating is an indication of an airline’s overall service, not just the in-flight experience.

“A great product is not by itself the key to a 5-Star Airline rating, and Skytrax Star Rating also places great emphasis on the quality of front-line service an airline provides,” U.K.-based SKYTRAX explained on its website. “A 5-Star Airline rating recognises airlines whose front-line staff (across airport and onboard experience) deliver a true and consistent 5-Star standard of service delivery.”

ANA is the only airline in Japan to receive this award, which reflects its ability to deliver a truly consistent and high quality of product and service, according to the review firm.

In a news release announcing the award, ANA credited a broad range of employees for the honor.

“This achievement is testament to the consistently high levels of service provided by ANA’s frontline staff, from the airport to the cabin,” the airlines said. ”It also recognizes the service enhancements ANA has made during the year. [These include] expanding the range of services available and better catering for international passengers who are increasingly choosing to fly with ANA.”

The airline also cited improvements it is making to airport lounges.

In addition to the SKYTRAX honor, Qatar Airways on March 9 was named Airline of the Year at the 2014 Air Transport News Awards, held in Istanbul, Turkey. The airline’s subsidiary, Doha International Airport (DOH), was also honored with Airport of the Year in the 10-30 Million Passenger size category.

In the midst of expanding its service to the United States, Qatar will begin daily flights from Philadelphia (PHL) to DOH on April 2, and from Miami (MIA) to DOH on June 10.

For its part, Cathay Pacific on March 2 began non-stop service from Newark (EWR) to Hong Kong (HKG) to complement the airline’s current four-times-daily service from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York.

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