A New Class of Air Travel for a New World
Long Beach, CA. USA (30 November 2021) – The APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association), the largest international airline association dedicated to advancing the passenger experience, today announced the launch of APEX WORLD CLASS, the new premier category of air travel.
Developed in partnership with Yates and Partners, the world’s leading aviation guest experience consultancy, the inaugural honors and accreditations were launched during APEX EXPO, the airline industry’s leading leadership event and marketplace.
APEX WORLD CLASS recognizes airlines for their achievements on the key metrics that matter to travelers today. In the last 20 months travelers, especially airline customers, have undergone a seismic value shift. There are new dimensions to travel that have become the priority of airline guests, and new metrics by which to measure the air travel experience. The aviation industry has changed and adapted to challenging conditions, and the way we assess and measure the industry needs to change with it.
“APEX is helping aviation transform and better serve its customers and our society,” said APEX CEO, Dr. Joe Leader. “This WORLD CLASS collaboration with Yates and Partners has accelerated the development of diagnostic and actionable audit processes that materialize in important changes.”
Yates chair, Keith Yates, described WORLD CLASS as “every airline’s North Star.”
“This is every CEO’s must-achieve award. It’s the brand recognition that says, ‘this airline knows what matters to today’s airline customer,’ and they have demonstrated they can consistently deliver it,” said Yates. “WORLD CLASS audits look at the vital measures by which an airline is judged. Safety has always been the important dimension of aviation but wellbeing, keeping me safe, goes well beyond seamless service. It’s at the forefront of every guest’s mind. The air travelers of the 21st century think beyond themselves and their own immediate goals. They also want to know – is it sustainable? Is it responsible? Airlines are under pressure from their customers, their finance sources, and their governments to act sustainably. Visible in-cabin sustainability initiatives are the now necessity.”
Alongside safety and wellbeing and sustainability, APEX WORLD CLASS recognizes excellence in superior service, brand integrity, space and comfort, presence, customer recognition, and relevance of cuisine.
To be awarded WORLD CLASS airlines must qualify via a series of steps: an audit conducted by industry professionals from Yates and Partners, aviation’s premier guest experience consultancy; peer review by Associate Professor Dr. Maxwell Winchester at Victoria University, Melbourne; and a review of one year’s NPS customer comments.
The seven airlines honored with the inaugural APEX WORLD CLASS honors were:
• Emirates – For elegant service delivery, high standards, engaging crew, best in class entertainment (IFE), quality-first mindset.
• Japan Airlines – For outstanding hospitality, consistent attention to detail, warm and personal, discipline in service delivery.
• KLM – For world-leading sustainability with a circular economy mindset evident at all levels, remarkable efficiency and engagement.
• Qatar Airways – For ultimate quality and detail management, generous space and seat concepts, guest experience innovation, impeccable dish presentations.
• Saudia – For excellence in hospitality, exemplary safety “keeping me safe”, cutting edge innovation, flawlessly impressive dining.
• Singapore Airlines – For consistently excellent service delivery and individual attention. Elevated service standards, notable brand integrity, and best in-class customer retention.
• Turkish Airlines – For its excellence in cuisine, extraordinary generosity, brand integrity, safe travels.