At APEX/IFSA EXPO, the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) announced its new “WORLD CLASS” rating.
A new “North Star” for airlines, the WORLD CLASS rating has been created in collaboration with aviation guest experience consultancy Yates and Partners to recognize excellence across a range of different metrics.
These metrics represent a reformed approach to airline ratings by focusing on the issues that twenty-first century travelers are most concerned about, from Safety, Wellbeing and Sustainability to Superior Service, Brand Integrity, Space and Comfort, Customer Recognition and Relevance of Cuisine.
To receive a WORLD CLASS rating, airlines must undergo an audit conducted by professionals at Yates and Partners; a peer review by Associate Professor Dr. Max Winchester at Victoria University in Melbourne; and a review of one year’s worth of Net Promoter Score (NPS) customer comments.
APEX/IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader, said, “This WORLD CLASS collaboration with Yates and Partners has accelerated the development of diagnostic and actionable audit processes that materialize in important changes.” Keith Yates, chair at Yates and Partners, added that he views the WORLD CLASS rating as “every airline’s North Star.”
Coinciding with the announcement, APEX has also revealed the first seven airlines to have achieved WORLD CLASS status, including Emirates, Japan Airlines, KLM, Qatar Airways, Saudia, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines.
Each carrier has been recognized as WORLD CLASS for its individual assets. For Emirates, it’s the airline’s best-in-class in-flight entertainment and elegant service execution that make it stand out, while KLM has been recognized as a leader in sustainability, with a “circular mindset evident at all levels.”
Japan Airlines was commended for warm and personal service that’s consistent across every flight and Qatar Airways applauded for its generous seat concepts and guest experience innovation. Turkish Airlines’ award highlights its culinary excellence, SAUDIA’s its generous hospitality, and Singapore Airlines its best-in-class customer retention.
The awards presentation was attended by KLM’s EVP Customer Experience, Boet Kreiken; Patrick Brannelly, SVP Retail, In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity at Emirates; Chief Customer Experience Officer at Qatar Airways, Rossen Dimitrov; Captain Ibrahim Koshy, CEO at SAUDIA; İlker Aycı, Turkish Airlines Group CEO & Chairman; Joey Seow, Regional VP at Singapore Airlines and Kiyoto Morioka, SVP The Americas, Japan Airlines.
During the Q&A that followed, BBC News presenter Aaron Heslehurst asked the airlines how the awards would benefit normal passengers. Brannelly answered, “Awards are hard to win, but they’re harder to lose, so that’s great motivation for us to keep improving.”
WORLD CLASS is separate from but complimentary to the APEX Official Airline Ratings™, the industry’s first validated, verified and certified industry award based on passengers rating their travel experience.
Read more about APEX WORLD CLASS here.