By Andy Sambidge
Update: Rating agency describes Abu Dhabi's statement as "potentially misleading"
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, said on Sunday it has sent a letter to Skytrax formally announcing its decision to withdraw from the organisation, including the Skytrax World Airline Awards and the Skytrax Audit.
The decision makes the airline ineligible for any further Skytrax World Airline Awards, including World’s Best Airline, World’s Best Business Class and World’s Best Cabin Crew.
In the 2013 awards, Etihad placed seventh in Skytrax’s list of the world’s top 10 airlines, with UAE rival Emirates taking the top prize.
The decision was made after Etihad Airways carried out a review of the criteria and measurement of the Skytrax Airline Rating System, the airline said in a statement, without giving further details.
It added: "The measurement of customer satisfaction and feedback is important to Etihad Airways. The airline subscribes to monthly industry research and undertakes comprehensive monthly surveys to monitor customer satisfaction, using the insights to continually improve its products and services."
June 09: Commenting on a statement by Etihad Airways that the airline had carried out "a review of the criteria and measurement of the Skytrax Airline Rating System", Skytrax have questioned the statement as potentially misleading and omitting salient facts that apply to an airline's Star Rating.
For a Star Rating audit review where Skytrax work in conjunction with the airline, product consistency, planned changes and aircraft fleet information are transparent and key elements of the assessment criteria. When an airline is either unable or does not wish to provide information that may potentially influence the Star Rating, Skytrax have no option but to curtail work on such project.
An airline cannot be withdrawn from the World Airline Awards, since these results are directly decided by customers. Skytrax do not exercise control over which airlines are nominated in the Survey ratings, and to subsequently try and conceal the results of a public vote would be unacceptable.
Skytrax is a small, independent airline rating organisation that follows an established code of conduct which has applied to Airline Rating for the past 25 years. Maintaining Skytrax professional reputation is always paramount, and it is perplexing and disappointing when misleading statements are made without any material support.
Edward Plaisted of Skytrax commented: "We assume there is some underlying purpose or agenda behind the statement made by Etihad Airways to which we are not privy. It is their right to make such a decision, but since Skytrax respect and do not publicly discuss issues that apply to both parties in Confidentiality Agreements we enter into with an airline, we cannot comment further on this."
looks like, i didn't win so i'll withdraw.
would be nice to see AB publish the winners for all categories for 2013 year.
This is bad PR for Etihad. They have done a good job until now. Maybe they recently hired a few ex Nakheel "executives"??