The winners of the APEX / IFSA Awards were unveiled tonight at the Long Beach Convention Center. They were given their accolades at a packed ceremony of aviation insiders who were there to celebrate innovation and airline excellence in person again after the end of the COVID travel shutdowns.
At an event that featured guest hosts including BBC presenter Aaron Heslehurst, TV personality and owner of Smize Ice Cream Tyra Banks, as well as respected aviation journalist Mary Kirby, awards were given both to airlines as well as companies that have shown innovation in the aviation industry.
Five Star Airlines
APEX CEO Dr Joe Leader announced a record number of five star rated airlines.
Five star global airlines include Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air China, Air France, Air New Zealand, American Airlines, ANA, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Delta Airlines, EL AL, Emirates, Etihad, Eva Air, Finnair, Japan Airlines, KLM Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, LATAM, LOT Polish Airlines, Qatar Airways, SAUDIA, SAS, Singapore Airlines, SWISS, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.
The list of Five Star major airlines encompasses Air Tahiti Nui, Air Transat, Alaska Airlines, COPA, Fiji Airways, Hawaiian Airlines Icelandair, JetBlue and Oman Air.
Meanwhile JSX was recognized as the Five Star regional airline.
Four Star global airlines were Lufthansa and TAP Portugal and four star major airline awards were given to Air Astana, Avianca, Gulf Air, Philippine Airlines and SriLankan Airlines.
Four Star LCCs were Allegiant Air, Eurowings, Southwest, Spirit, Suncountry and WestJet.
Finally, the Four Star regional airlines were Aeromar and Aeromexico Connect.
World Class Rating
The World Class airlines announced at the awards were Emirates, SAUDIA, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, KLM, Turkish Airlines, Japan Airlines.
For the first time there was also a Chinese airline to be given the World Class accolade – Xiamen Airlines.
In the APEX/IFSA Innovation awards, for its CabinAXe cabin wireless access point, the APEX Award for Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation went to Astronics.
Thales Aerospace and Diehl Aviation won the award for best marketing innovation for the cabin enhancer product.
For its ‘Booth’ concept, the award for best new cabin product went to Virgin Atlantic.
Finnair won the award for best cabin innovation for its elevated long haul experience.
For the first time in history, the IFSA Award for Best Onboard Amenity went to two winners – Delta for its Someone Somewhere partnership and Fiji Airways for the Our Ocean, Our Life kids activity pack
For RISE Power, the APEX Award for Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation went to Burrana
For customizable meal ordering, the IFSA Award for Best Inflight Food or Beverage went to ThalesAerospace & JetBlue
Lifetime achievement award
Finally, the evening ended with Michael Childers receiving a lifetime achievement award. Read more about Michael Childers and his long track record of innovation in the feature we published earlier this week.