All photos: Vance Walstra

The world’s leading airlines and aviation innovations were recognized at yesterday evening’s APEX Awards ceremony at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Helping to celebrate the winners of the Official Airline Ratings, Passenger Choice Awards, APEX Awards and Heart Awards for the second year in a row was host The Points Guy Brian Kelly.

APEX CEO LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada

Calin has served as the president and chief executive officer of Air Canada since 2009. His previous roles with the airline include executive vice-president, Corporate Development and Strategy, and chief restructuring officer. Read our Q&A with Calin here.

OFFICIAL AIRLINE RATINGS

For the second year, airline passengers were able to rate their flight experience on a five-star scale through the TripIt by Concur app. Here are the four- and five-star rated airlines in the Global, Major Regional and Low-Cost categories.

Five-Star Winners

Four-Star Winners

PASSENGER CHOICE AWARDS

Using the TripIt by Concur app, airline passengers were able to further vote on the best seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, entertainment and Wi-Fi. The results of those surveys culminate in the winners of the Passenger Choice Awards.

Best Seat Comfort
Alaska Airlines

Best Cabin Service & Best Food and Beverage
Qatar Airways

Best Entertainment
Emirates

Best Wi-Fi
JetBlue

APEX AWARDS

Nearly 30 APEX members determine the top three finalists in each of the APEX Awards categories every year. A panel of industry media experts then vote on the winners in a final round of judging.

Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation
Bluebox Aviation Systems and Virgin Atlantic

Bluebox aIFE offers passengers with sight loss the opportunity to enjoy all the entertainment that’s available on an airline’s existing IFE system. Virgin Atlantic, which was also involved in the development, launched the product on December 1, 2017, becoming the first global airline to offer accessible IFE fleetwide.

Best Cabin Innovation; Best Passenger Comfort Innovation
flydubai

flydubai and JPA Design developed a narrow-body aircraft interior that encapsulates the spirit of modern day Dubai and brings long-haul comfort to regional flying for the airline’s Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet.

Luxurious fabrics, long-haul seats in economy class, the first fully lie-flat business-class seats on a Boeing 737 and highly coordinated design in every aspect of the cabin interior, flydubai’s new 737 MAX 8 interiors redefine comfort and design on narrow-body aircraft.

Best Personalization Innovation
Singapore Airlines

 With myKrisWorld, Singapore Airlines’ personalized in-flight entertainment platform allows customers to resume their partially watched movies and TV shows, synch their preferences and playlists across flights, receive content recommendations, and through the airline’s Companion App, carry their in-flight experience with them.

Best Original Audio; Best Original Video; Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation
Air New Zealand

With multiple social media campaigns involving music, a comprehensive Spotify channel mirroring audio on board and an ever-expanding library, Air New Zealand’s audio truly connects with the passenger throughout their in-flight journey.

Penguins, sea lions, scientists and seat belts. Air New Zealand delivers the world’s coolest safety video – literally – while highlighting the importance of how one continent is so important to the future of our planet.

Delivering seamless Wi-Fi to New Zealand, one of the most remote places on Earth, calls for an innovative solution. Air New Zealand created a world-first partnership with Inmarsat and Panasonic to deliver a custom in-flight Wi-Fi solution that has customers at the heart of its design.

Best Video Curation
Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia serves guests a delicious array of tasty bite-sized entertainment treats, particularly for domestic and shorter sectors. Make your selection, place your order and then sit back, relax and enjoy the entertainment offerings on Virgin Australia’s Snackable IFE menu.

APEX + CRYSTAL CABIN AWARD: Best Customer Journey Experience
FLIO

The FLIO global airport app offers travelers a one-stop source for all airport needs. With information for over 350 airports worldwide in one mobile application, it eliminates the need to download multiple airport apps for multiple journeys.

Image via FLIO

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
SKYdeals

Through flash sales and home delivery of duty-free purchases, Paris-based SKYdeals enhances the passenger experience through “shoppertainment,” while also enhancing airline revenues. And for brands wanting to capitalize on the captive airline audience, the company offers market targeting based on destinations and traveler profiles.

Image via SKYdeals

COOL AWARD

Voting for the Cool Award has migrated to the APEX EXPO mobile app this year. Use the interactive map to find your way around the show floor and cast your vote, too. Each member company has up to 10 votes. The ballot opens at 9 a.m. on Sept. 26 and closes at 5 p.m. on Sept. 27.