Ekali, 25 March 2017: The 2017 Air Transport Awards Ceremony, organised by ATN in partnership with UATP, took place in Iatrou Residence.

Vitaly Saveliev, CEO of Aeroflot, said: “Aeroflot is honored to receive ATN’s Readers’ Choice Award for the second year in a row. The award is welcome recognition of our best-in-class customer service, a fleet that is among the most modern globally and our relentless focus on safety and comfort. Customers are  increasingly recognizing the advantages of flying with Aeroflot — traffic increased 11% last year to nearly 29 million passengers carried. And we are seeing particular growth in international transit traffic, with more passengers choosing Aeroflot for travel between Europe and Asia via our modern hub at Sheremetyevo airport. In 2017 and the years to come a key focus will be the digitalization of Aeroflot — whether offering passengers the most sophisticated technology options, flight personnel using cutting edge technology to do their jobs better and more efficiently, or leveraging Big Data at the corporate level for marketing and customer communications”.

“On behalf of Bombardier’s employees around the world, whose expertise and dedication to excellence is unmatched, it is a great honor to be named Manufacturer of the Year by Air Transport News,” said Fred Cromer, President of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “This award is recognition of the thousands of Bombardier people that work hard every day to solidify our leadership position in the commercial aircraft business by providing the most innovative, efficient and reliable products in the industry.”

“Accelya has always focused on delivering exceptional customer service and it feels wonderful to be recognized as the Service Provider of the Year. I would like to thank all our customers and congratulate each and every employee of Accelya for this recognition.”  said John Johnston, CEO Accelya Group.

Yiannis Paraschis, Athens International Airport CEO, commented:  “We are very pleased and indeed honoured that Athens International Airport has been distinguished as Airport of the Year under 20 Million Passengers within the framework of the Air Transport News Awards . I would like to sincerely thank Air Transport News readers and the Jury for their votes.   

2016 was a year of a special symbolism and operational success. It was, to begin with, a milestone year, as we celebrated the 20th anniversary since the establishment of our Airport Company and 15 years of operations since the airport opening in March 2001. Moreover, following a record year 2015, Athens continued, within 2016, its re-emergence as a prime destination. Passenger traffic and foreign residents’ arrivals continued to experience double-digit increases, indicating the firm positioning of Athens among the top tourist destinations, with a number of important developments boosting, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the airport’s traffic evolution.   

During the recent years marked by the Greek macroeconomic crisis, AIA has managed to address significant market challenges, protect its business model and continue to deliver substantial value to all stakeholders and the Greek economy. We believe that what makes an organisation capable of weathering a storm and come out even more efficient and effective, is clearly the ability of its human capital to continuously change and adapt. The Air Transport News Award is yet another recognition for the people of AIA and the Airport Community at large”.

Mr Lee Seow Hiang, CEO of Changi Airport Group said, “We are very honoured to receive the 2017 Air Transport Award for Airport of the Year above 20 Million Passengers. This is an important recognition of the effort that the 50,000-strong airport community has put in to deliver the highest level of service and a most memorable airport experience to all passengers who come through Changi Airport.”

Jeffrey Goh, CEO Star Alliance: “It is a great honour for Star Alliance to be voted best Airline Alliance by the readers of ATN just ahead of our 20th anniversary in May this year. We look forward to continuing to serve more than 680 million passengers annually and to further enhancing their travel experience through the progressive integration of digital technologies.”

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are deeply honoured to have been recognised by the readers of Air Transport News as 2017 Airline of the Year. We take immense pride in driving our airline to be the best in the industry and to deliver our passengers an unprecedented on-board experience. To receive acknowledgement from the loyal passengers who choose to fly with Qatar Airways is the highest honour for us to achieve and pushes us to work even harder to provide them with the level of commitment, service and attention to detail that they deserve every time they travel.”

“Virgin Atlantic is receiving the UATP Award for exceptional reinvention of their revenue model by optimizing their relationship with Delta while maintaining the world renown Virgin brand which sets the airline apart in the marketplace.” 

“We’re honored to continue our relationship with ATN and be a co-host of the Air Transport Awards.  As you can see from the winners, it was a phenomenal pool to choose the awards from; we wish all winners continued success in the coming year,” stated Ralph Kaiser, president and CEO, UATP.   

Haydar Yalcin, President, EUROCONTROL: “I have the great honour and pleasure to have this valuable Editor Choice Award – Individual which gives me additional responsibilities to continue to contribute the global aviation industry as much as possible.”

“I am very honored with the Editor Choice Award – Corporate from such a renowned platform as ATN. It’s a testament to the hard work all KLM people are delivering for our customers” said KLM CEO Pieter Elbers.

It is such an honour to be recognised and rewarded for a career dedicated to civil aviation. Coming from a media entirely focused on a profession I have served so long, I accept “Katerina & George Iatrou” Lifetime Achievement Award with gratitude and thanks to Air Transport News for this esteemed distinction. The story of my association with this riveting sector goes back nearly 38 years, to the day when, as newly appointed engineer at the Italian Airworthiness Authority, a famous aviation manager welcomed me with this quote: “with a career in aviation, you will never be bored”.  As look back upon almost four decades occupying various roles in European aviation, these wise words remain just as true. Striving to improve and innovate, the exponential evolution of aviation has changed the contours of the world in half a century, and it has been a thrilling adventure to take part in it. And, as Executive Secretary of ECAC, I could not be prouder of the role played by ECAC in contributing to this evolution. As I am honoured today with this award, I stand similarly aware, and grateful, to all of those who have committed alongside with me to work towards a safer, greener and more secure aviation.” Salvatore Sciacchitano, Executive Secretary, ECAC

Dr Fang Liu, Secretary General, ICAO: “I am deeply honoured to be named Leader of the Year, an accolade which I proudly accept. I take it as a recognition of the great leadership role that the International Civil Aviation Organization has continued to uphold.  I accept this honour also on behalf of many State officials with whom I have the great privilege to collaborate as ICAO Secretary General.   This is an important moment in the history of our sector, with many challenges now confronting ICAO and the entire air transport community, and the recognition of my peers and ATN for the progress being made toward a more sustainable future for air transport is deeply gratifying.”

In particular, the winners by category are as follows:

-Readers’ Choice Award: Aeroflot

-Manufacturer of the Year: Bombardier

-Service Provider of the Year: Accelya

-Airport of the Year under 20 Million Passengers: Athens International Airport

-Airport of the Year above 20 Million Passengers: Singapore Changi Airport

-Airline Alliance of the Year: Star Alliance

-Airline of the Year: Qatar Airways

-UATP Award: Virgin Atlantic

-Editor Choice Award – Individual: Haydar Yalcin, President, EUROCONTROL

-Editor Choice Award – Corporate: KLM

-“Katerina & George Iatrou” Lifetime Achievement Award: Salvatore Sciacchitano, Executive Secretary, ECAC

-Leader of the Year: Dr Fang Lu, Secretary General, ICAO

The Chairperson of the Jury, Jeff Poole, Director General of CANSO said: “Once again, the Awards Jury faced some difficult choices given the very strong finalists that were shortlisted from the public nominations. It is a tribute to the industry as whole as well as the finalists themselves that competition for each of the 2017 Awards was at such a high and challenging level. As Chair of the Jury, I wish to thank my fellow Jury members for their wise counsel and voting. Most important, however, is to congratulate the winners of the Awards and to recognise their significant contributions to safety, technological capability, operational efficiency, and cost-effectiveness across the aviation industry”.

“This year we are celebrating the fifth anniversary of the awards introducing a new brand and identity to represent the importance of the awards. We are delighted and deeply honoured that all these years the leaders of the air transport industry have participated  in the ceremonies held in unique and remarkable places around the world. Finally, I would like to thank the jury of experts for their valuable help and especially its Chair, Jeff Poole.” stated Dr Kostas Iatrou, Managing Director of ATN & Administrator of Hermes Air Transport Club.