Etihad Airways withdraws from Skytrax

By Chris C., June 8 2014
Etihad Airways withdraws from Skytrax

In a surprising move, Etihad Airways has formally severed all ties to Skytrax – a website ranking and reviewing both airlines and airports.

The decision makes the Gulf 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 a short statement released to the media, an Etihad Airways spokesperson said: “the decision was made after Etihad Airways carried out a review of the criteria and measurement of the Skytrax Airline Rating System.”

Etihad will also discontinue its participation in Skytrax Audit – a customer experience and quality improvement program designed to assist airlines.

“The measurement of customer satisfaction and feedback is important to Etihad Airways”, said the spokesperson.

“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.”

Etihad placed seventh in Skytrax’s 2013 list of the world’s top 10 airlines, trailing far behind its fierce and first-place rival, Emirates.

The airline also received Skytrax's Best First Class, Best First Class Seats and Best First Class Catering awards in both 2012 and 2013, and remains the current Skytrax title-holder.

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Mar 2013

Total posts 61

But why?


14 Jun 2013

Total posts 353

Bravo, Etihad. Skytrax is shonky, one of the biggest scam-jobs in the industry, a private research firm which is well known for favouring the airlines with awards if they pay Skytrax' parent company for undertaking  all sorts of research, marketing, QC reports etc.This is one of the aviation industry's "dirty little secrets". You only need to do a little searching with Google to find plenty of articles and forum posts where people have submitted to Skytrax 'Airline Equality' website a low rating for airlines which it favours with awards, those reviews NEVER get published. Any objective analysis of the Skytrax system reveals a complete lack of transparency and there have been several cases in the UK of Skytrax being revealed to be questionable in their ratings and operations.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1247

"The airline also received Skytrax's Best First Class, Best First Class Seats and Best First Class Catering awards in both 2012 and 2013, and remains the current Skytrax title-holder."

Which airline? Emirates or Etihad?

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 1

Lets face it Etihad is a joke. They are just miffed as they werent able to pay a big enough bribe to secure a higher placing. On the face of it Etihad 'appears' to be a well run airline but the reality is its as badly run as most government run airlines in the third world. And how would I know you ask? Coz l used to work there and got out for sanity sake. 


04 Nov 2010

Total posts 670

Skytrax gets a free ride from its World Airline Awards but the way to win one of these is to pay money to the company for their consultancy services, quality audits and so on. The more you pay the more awards you get, and the higher up that awards ladder you climb. More airlines should follow Etihad's lead and stop funnelling money to Skytrax, then you can sit back and see how many of those former 'customers' get awards in the years to come. My prediction? None.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 340

Emirates got top rating? I flew with them in April and was shocked at the service. Rude cabin crew, that didn't do a drinks service until 30min AFTER the meal service.  Got the feeling they just can't handle all those pax on their A380.  Was really surprised.

Etihad are also the ONLY airline not discussed on PPrune. They appear to have taken legal action against that site - a commercially managed one - to exempt themselves. Surprising given the absolute slamming other airlines receive there, one can only wonder what triggered THAT move?

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 654

I do enjoy reading skytrax....purely for the entertainment value...reading with amusement some of -ve and +ve 'reviews', and the 'star' ratings some people give have no relationship to their actual 'comments'...or even their 'comments' having no relationship to the airline they are 'reviewing'!!

In general, 'awards' that are given out, are based on how much 'influence' (in various ways), each airline has.. A recent example being a particular airline 'encouraging' people to vote for them via an 'advert' on their website.

'Positive Recognition' is a driving force of the 'human condition'...BUT so is ego!!


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 445

On a tangent, it's quite obvious that Skytrax is all corrupt.  With EK coming out top just proves that.  After all, it's supposed to be an all-round quality of service.  If EK was judged on its Y, then it certainly wouldnt be anywhere near 1st.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 240

Should point out, in fairness, that Skytrax only give Emirates a 4 star rating and not it's prized 5 star rating.

But agree that Skytrax lacks transperancy.  

therealqueen Banned
therealqueen Banned

19 May 2014

Total posts 40

The airline with the deepest pockets wins many skytrax awards.


conficius circa 2014

22 Jul 2011

Total posts 96

Surprised Etihad didn't use some of their $3 billion interest free loan to help maintain a good Skytrax rating

Good for Etihad, I hope other airlines follow their steps and move away from Skytrax.

I always thought it was suss that Emirates keeps coming up on top.

I have flown in J class for both Etihad and Emirates, and I have to give it to EY for having a slightly more consistent product.

Yes they still fly the old turquoise color theme on routes, as recently as October 2013? (i think) to Melbourne, before changing it to the new cream/brown theme, at least the seating layout is consistent. You know they are all fully lie flat, access to the aisle etc

Whereas Emirates, it is only their A380 J product that is superior because of the onboard bar at the back of the upper deck. If you find yourself on the 777 or others, its the angled flat bed in 2-3-2 layout. At least Qantas's MK2 seats are fully flat bed.

What about the Cathay Pacific, which is consistently rolling out the same J product for the long haul international. The Cathay Pacific J seats are the same seats that British Airways uses for F class, but you never see Cathay Pacific win!

I have also flown EK and EY in Y and both were terrible.

So if they were rating the airline as a "whole" product, from F to Y, than both airlines rank well behind their Asian competitors. Because the Asian airlines look after Y much better than EK and EY.

And how do you explain Qatar (we bought the world cup errr I mean we won the bid for the world cup) holding a 5-star rating?! Their business class product is old school!

I agree with other commentators, Skytrax is good for entertainment reading but otherwise I wouldn't 100% trust give their "World's Best Airline" "World's Best... this and that" ratings.

Its like when you go to the USA, and each cafe/restaurant/grill etc boasts "World's best fries" "World's best belgian waffles" "World's best mustard sauce"

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Mar 2014

Total posts 8

Always take sites like Skytrax with a grain of salt, unfortunately it's a human trait to write a bad review of something but say nothing when all is well.

Even if you go on the number of passengers per complaints the numbers are skewed towards criticism.

Like I said take it all with a grain of salt and like any entity they will always promote those that suipport them.

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