Kong Dong and Tim Clark take top honours at 2011 Airline Strategy Awards

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Air China chairman Kong Dong and Emirates Airline president Tim Clark were the two leading airline executives recognised at the Airline Strategy Awards, organised by Airline Business, in partnership with executive search company Spencer Stuart.

The Executive Leadership Award went to Kong Dong, while Tim Clark was given the prestigious Airline Business Award.

The event, attended by more than 200 guests, was held in the magnificent surroundings of the Great Hall in Lincoln's Inn, London, on Sunday 17 July.

Kong was recognised by the judges for his transformation of the Chinese flag carrier.

airline business strategy awards 2011
 

"Kong has not just turned around Air China's fortunes, but also gained a strategic direction that has positioned it for sustained growth," Max Kingsley-Jones, Airline Business editor, said.

"Air China is positioned for both near-term and long-term growth and, just like its country, becoming a global force."

This year, to mark a decade of the event, the Airline Business Award was presented to the leader who has made the biggest impact on the airline industry since the awards were launched in 2002.

It went to Tim Clark, who was a member of the team that launched Emirates in 1985 and has been at its helm ever since.

"Tim has steered Emirates on its trailblazing expansion path this century," Kingsley-Jones said.

"He has been the architect of its strategy to develop Dubai into the world's premier international mega-hub.

"Emirates is now firmly established as the biggest threat to the legacy carriers, the one that most rivals lie awake worrying about."

The winners, by category, were:

Max Kingsley-Jones, Airline Business editor, said: "With so many threats to the industry's fragile recovery, the importance of strong leadership has never been greater.

"We founded The Airline Strategy Awards a decade ago to recognise the best that this industry had to offer in boardroom leadership and, as ever, this year's winners all excel in this regard."