Domestic airlines included this year
Polling starts for Best Airlines-2008
_A Monitor Report
Dhaka : "Monitor-Galileo Airline of the Year-2008" polling by frequent fliers has been launched for the selection of Best Airline of the Year-2008. This was formally launched on May 14 by Kazi Wahidul Alam, Editor, The Bangladesh Monitor, the main organiser of the event at a press conference, held at The Westin Dhaka.
The Bangladesh Monitor is conducting this poll for the second consecutive year this time in order to assess popularly of the airlines, operating in Bangladesh, judge their service standards and to create an atmosphere of competition amongst the airlines, which would ultimately benefit Bangladeshi air travellers.
Leading GDS Company Galileo Bangladesh is playing host as the Title Sponsor while Eastern Bank Ltd., The Westin Dhaka, MGH Group, Finlay Tea are acting as the co-sponsors of the event. Channel-i, Radio Foorti, lifestyle magazine ICE Today are supporting the event as Media Partners.
Speaking on the occasion Kazi Wahidul Alam informed that, besides electing 'Airline of the Year-2008 for both passenger and cargo, opinions will be sought for awarding airlines in various other categories of their services from the frequent travellers.
Kazi Wahidul Alam said, "As airline industry in Bangladesh continues to grow at an encouraging pace, more and more airlines are showing their interest in commencing their flight operations here, while the airlines already serving the country are striving to increase their capacities and frequencies."
"With the increase in the overall economic activities in the country, air traffic is growing and quality of travellers on business, leisure, education, medical treatment, VFR and for similar other purpose, who really care for quality air travel experience.?
"As the competition is getting fierce among the airlines for a fair share of the market, the airlines are always on the lookout for even a bigger share, and the overall service standard of the competing airlines can earn them a competitive edge over the others.
Replying to a question, he said, with four players now in the market, domestic airlines have been included in this year's awards for the first time.
Anis Ahmed, Managing Director Galileo Bangladesh said the awards are giving passengers a platform to provide opinions about their preferences, likes and dislikes, helping evaluate the services of about 18 airlines connecting Bangladesh with different destinations in the world. Airlines are benefiting too with the feedback, he added.
Galileo is one of the largest CRS in the world and was hosting over 600 airlines in its system and was proud to be associated with the awards, Anis Ahmed said.
On the financial downturn across the world, Anis Ahmed said corporate executives flying First Class may be using Business Class and those usually flying Business Class are using Economy Class, travel has not stopped. He opined that the recovery in Bangladesh is much faster.
Stephane Masse, General Manager, The Westin Dhaka, agreeing with Anis Ahmed, said corporate travel trend may have changed and corporate stays may have become shorter, but The Westin Dhaka was better than last year in rooms and F&B. The local guests were also patronising the hotel in increasing numbers. January to April was better than last year and the first fifteen days of May also better than last year, he said.
"We were associated with the awards in the First Airline of the Year Award, we are associated with it this year and hope to be associated with it in the future also," Masse added.
Nazeem A Chowdhury, EBL Head of Marketing, Eastern Bank Limited, said the bank introduced EBL Traveloan last year and EBL Travel Card this year to help make travel hassle-free and will continue to innovate products to maker life simpler for people by meeting their needs.
Ziaul Karim, Editor, ICE Today, said the travelers have found their voice in Airline of the Year awards. Airlines operating to the country will now understand the needs of market better and will be able to adjust their products according to the opinions expressed in the frequent flyers poll.
ATM Hafizullah, Director of Sales and Marketing, The Westin Dhaka, also spoke on the occasion.
Frequent travellers of the country will be able to express their opinions by filling out a prescribed polling form which will be available at The Bangladesh Monitor office, offices of the partners, leading travel agencies etc. Moreover a group of students from Dhaka University will personally visit the frequent travellers to collect their opinions.
On-line casting of opinion will also be possible. The last date of polling has been fixed as June 20, 2009.