Air New Zealand and Qantas take top honours at strategy awards

On Sunday evening in London Air New Zealand and Qantas took top honours at the 10th annual Airline Strategy Awards, hosted by Flightglobal publication Airline Business. UK representatives of the carriers accepted the awards at Lincoln’s Inn.

Simmons safety video interior-thumb-560x314-120773.jpgAir New Zealand won for marketing, with our judges–who include Ray Webster, Joe Leonard, and Geoff Dixon–saying Air NZ is in an “industry leading position–pushing the outer edge,” a comment viewers of Rico’s work can attest to.

Another judge said, “I think Air New Zealand is game changing.” Air NZ’s use of social media has given it exposure–the four largest American TV networks featured the Richard Simmons “Fit to Fly” video–the carrier could never afford to pay for.

And Air NZ is not done yet. General manager marketing and communications Mike Tod told colleague Mary Kirby that Air NZ is in discussions “with one of the world’s biggest movie studios” on a possible collaboration involving Rico. Financial benefits may soon trickle in: Tod says the carrier is developing an idea that may permit it to monetise social media.

Qantas Next Gen check-in.jpgGame changing was also on the judges’ lips when commenting on awarding Qantas the technology award for its Q Bag Tag as part of Next Generation Check-In. Although radio-frequency identification is not new at airports, Qantas was the first to leverage the technology for the passenger experience and ultimately improving it.

“The technology has been around for a while, it just depends how airlines chose to use it,” head of customer experience at Qantas Tanya Bulkin tells colleague Alex Thomas. The judging panel said Qantas’s system was “potentially a game-changer and could change the business in a number of aspects”. The system gives Qantas a leg-up in the corporate market, or at least until Virgin Australia replicates it–an active consideration, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Full reports on the award winners can be found here.

The complete laureates are:

  • Executive Leadership: Kong Dong, Air China

  • Low-Cost Leadership: Aditya Ghosh, IndiGo
  • Regional Leadership: Bill Ayer
  • Finance: AviancaTaca
  • Marketing: Air New Zealand
  • Technology: Qantas
  • Environment: British Airways
  • The Airlines Business Award for the executive who has had the greatest influence in air transport in the past decade: Tim Clark, Emirates

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