Qatar has knocked Cathay Pacific Airways from its perch to be named the world’s new favorite airline for 2015.
In a worldwide survey that polled about 18 million travelers, Qatar’s flagship carrier took the top spot in Skytrax’s annual World Airline Awards.
Results were announced at the International Paris Air Show Tuesday.
The award is a coup for an airline that officially launched in 1997 with only four aircraft.
Today, the luxury carrier boasts one of the industry’s shiniest and newest fleets with 158 aircraft averaging four years of age, in addition to a string of firsts and airline records.
In December, Qatar Airways became the global launch customer of the Airbus A350 XWB , a wide-bodied aircraft that seats nine passengers across and features the industry’s first lie-flat double bed, for which the airline has obtained proprietary rights.
The 80-inch flat beds feature in the business class cabin.
The delivery of the A350 XWB (pictured above) made Qatar the first airline in the world to operate every family member of Airbus’s airline portfolio.
First class flyers also receive the royal treatment, be it amenity kits filled with Giorgio Armani toiletries and sleeper suits, noise canceling headphones or fine dining meals developed by celebrity chefs Nobu Matsuhisa and Vineet Bhatia.
This year, the carrier launched new routes from Doha to Amsterdam, Durban, South Africa and Zanzibar, Tanzania.
In 2016, the network will also expand to Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta.
Other big winners from the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2015
World’s best low-cost airline for 2015: AirAsia, Malaysia
World’s Best Airport Services: ANA, Japan
Best Inflight Entertainment: Emirates
World’s Best Aircraft Cabin Cleanliness: EVA Air, Taiwan
World’s Best Airline Alliance: Oneworld
Best Staff Service Asia: ANA, Japan
Most improved airline: Air France
Best economy class: Asiana Airlines, South Korea
Best business class: Singapore Airlines
Best leisure airline: Thomson Airways
Best Airline Transpacific: Cathay Pacific
Best Airline Transatlantic: Lufthansa
Best Staff Service North America: Virgin America
Check back at www.worldairlineawards.com/ for the full results.