CAPA's Aviation Awards for Excellence
CAPA's Aviation Awards for Excellence are regarded as the pre-eminent awards for strategic excellence in aviation. From 2003, when the Awards were established, through to 2011, they were limited to Asia Pacific including the Middle East. In 2012 the Awards became global and began including recipients from all regions. In 2014 CAPA started having two award events, one covering the global industry and one for Asia Pacific including the Middle East.
CAPA's Aviation Awards for Excellence are intended to reward airlines and airports that are not only successful but have also provided industry leadership in adjusting to a new environment. At a time of industry upheaval, our winners are adopting strategies that offer new directions for others to take up. The CAPA Awards for Excellence are not driven by customer surveys or sponsorship. They are independently researched by an independent international panel of judges.
Note that not all categories are awarded every year. CAPA's panel of judges review nominations for all categories, but some categories are skipped each year. Awards are only made if the judges determine there is a suitable winner.
- Airline/Airline Group of the Year
This is awarded to the airline that has been the biggest standout strategically during the year, has had the greatest impact on the development of the airline industry, has established itself as a leader, and provided a benchmark for others to follow.
- Low Cost Airline of the Year
This is awarded to the low cost or hybrid airline that has been the biggest standout strategically, has established itself as a leader, has been most innovative, and provided a benchmark for others to follow.
- Regional Airline of the Year
This is awarded to the regional airline that has been the biggest standout strategically, has established itself as a leader and demonstrated innovation in the regional aviation sector. (Note that this award is not limited to operators of regional aircraft; it is intended to recognise smaller airlines – fewer than 10 million annual passengers – that either do not operate any long haul services, or only operate limited long haul services.)
- Airline Turnaround of the Year
This is awarded to an airline that has turned around through innovative strategic changes and/or a restructuring exercise.
- Start-up Airline of the Year
This is awarded to the airline start-up that has been the most innovative and had the greatest impact on the industry.
- Large Airport of the Year
This is awarded to the airport with over 30 million annual passengers that has been the biggest standout strategically, has established itself as a leader and done the most to advance the progress of the aviation industry.
- Medium Airport of the Year
This is awarded to the airport with 10 to 30 million annual passengers that has been the biggest standout strategically, has established itself as a leader and done the most to advance the progress of the aviation industry.
- Regional Airport of the Year
This is awarded to the regional airport that has been the biggest standout strategically, has established itself as a leader and done the most to advance the progress of the aviation industry. (Note that this award is not limited to airports without any long haul or intercontinental services; it is intended to recognise smaller airports – fewer than 10 million annual passengers – that rely primarily on short haul routes.)
- Airline Executive of the Year
This is awarded to the airline executive who has had the greatest individual influence on the aviation industry, demonstrating outstanding strategic thinking and innovative direction for the growth of their business and the industry.
- Innovation of the Year
This award recognises the airline, airport or supplier responsible for the most powerful innovation in the industry over the past year. The innovation could be customer-facing, B2B, efficiency-related or a new marketing product – must have been a new standout and established the company as a market leader in the product or process.
CAPA’s Awards for Excellence will return in 2021 as part of the CAPA Live series of Summits.
2019 CAPA Awards
Airline of the YearBritish Airways
Airline Executive of the YearTewolde GebreMariam
Low Cost Airline of the YearSpirit Airlines
Regional Airline of the Year
Airline Turnaround of the YearLOT Polish Airlines
Airline Startup of the Year
2019 CAPA Asia Pacific Awards
Airline of the YearChina Southern Airlines
Low Cost Airline of the YearVietJet Air
Regional Airline of the YearVistara
Large Airport of the YearHong Kong International Airport
Medium Airport of the YearBrisbane Airport
Regional Airport of the YearPhnom Penh Airport
Innovation of the YearSingapore Airlines
2018 CAPA Awards
Medium Airport of the YearAvinor Oslo Airport
Large Airport of the YearOrlando International Airport
Innovation of the YearWinding Tree
Airline Startup of the YearLevel
Airline Turnaround of the YearAir Malta
Regional Airline of the YearCityJet
2018 CAPA Asia Pacific Awards
Low Cost Airline of the YearThai Lion Air
Regional Airport of the YearSenai Airport
Medium Airport of the YearMactan-Cebu International Airport
Large Airport of the YearIncheon Airport
Airline Turnaround of the YearSaudia
Airline Startup of the Yearflyadeal
2017 CAPA Awards
Airline of the YearNorwegian Air Shuttle
Airline Executive of the YearAndres Conesa
Low Cost Airline of the YearjetBlue Airways
Regional Airline of the YearairBaltic
Airline Turnaround of the YearTAP Portugal
Start-up of the YearCobalt Air
Airport of the YearAmsterdam Schiphol Airport
Medium Airport of the YearDublin Airport
Regional Airport of the YearPittsburgh International Airport
2017 CAPA Asia Pacific Awards
Small Airport of the YearSunshine Coast Airport
Medium Airport of the YearPerth Airport
Large Airport of the YearChangi Airport Group
Tourism Organisation of the YearPhilippines Department of Tourism
Airline Start-up of the YearAir Seoul
Regional Airline of the YearRegional Express
CAPA Airline of the Year
CAPA Low Cost Airline of the Year
CAPA Aviation Executive of the Year
CAPA International Airport of the Year
CAPA Hall Of Fame
Dr Cheong Choong Kong
Dr ('CK') Cheong Choong Kong accepted his last award as an airline executive on 8 July 2003. With 29 years in Singapore Airlines - and 19 at its helm - he retired from his SIA role on 30 June, 2003. 'CK' presided over perhaps the most remarkable growth of any airline, regardless of region. In terms of recent aviation 'greats' in the Asia Pacific region, there is only blue sky between him and other contenders. As with many greats, CK is unassuming and quietly self-deprecating, with a sharp - but usually gentle - sense of fun. He did not retire, but joined a leading Asian bank, where, as he noted with characteristic understatement and wry humour, "I have reason to believe that my banker's credentials, especially during these times, will endear me to a lot of old friends in the airlines and the travel business."
CEO for ten years of a company that has changed the way people think about travel, Ray Webster, has built an airline that carries 30 million passengers a year. A former Air New Zealand executive for 28 years, Ray left easyJet in a strong position, unveiling a better than expected rise in profits and a strong outlook. Ray Webster said: "I am honoured to be presented with such an award, however I must stress that the success of easyJet is the result of a passionate, dedicated and enthusiastic team that I am very proud to have been a part of."
Under Mr Flanagan's stewardship since start-up, Emirates has gone from two aircraft serving three destinations in India and Pakistan to a fleet of more than 100 aircraft and the only airline operating non-stop to all continents on the globe from the one hub. Emirates' and Dubai's ascendant influence on global aviation will change the structure of the industry in years to come.
Dato Seri Bashir Ahmad
Over several decades, he has had a quiet but massive influence in all sectors of Malaysia's aviation development, in what has been a remarkable period of aviation development and reform. Under Dato' Bashir's leadership and vision, KLIA has had an outstanding recent history. It is a regional leader in the low cost sector, which is driving millions in investment and tourism expenditure into the country. Malaysia's ascendant influence on Asian aviation will change the structure of the industry in years to come.
Dato Seri Tony Fernandes
Tony Fernandes is the youngest inductee into the Hall of Fame, but his impact on Asia Pacific aviation has been profound. Pioneering the cross-border joint venture model in Asia to open up new opportunities beyond its Malaysian base in Thailand and Indonesia, as well as low-cost long-haul services to link the region globally, the AirAsia Group is on track to handle 24 million passengers in 2009 – some 30% more than in 2008, despite the global economic slowdown. But AirAsia's impact is much more than its generation of strong traffic growth. The airline is catalysing positive change in the way governments, suppliers and its rivals are thinking and acting. We are delighted to recognise Tony Fernandes' leadership role in driving our industry forward.
Brett Godfrey stepped down on 07-May-2010 after 10 years as CEO of Virgin Blue – a tenure that saw the development of Virgin Blue from start-up into Australia's second largest carrier, as well as the establishment of New Zealand-based Pacific Blue, the group's long-haul arm V Australia and the innovative cross-border JV with the Samoan Government. Among aviation industry figures he is unique. A relatively low-key, albeit Type-A, CEO, he has gone where few in aviation history have ever walked. Air fares today on most major routes in Australia are to be had for about a fifth of the price before he came along. Communities which despaired of ever convincing Australia's pre-2000 high cost airline duopoly to fly there, today have multiple jet services. And, to a very large extent, that is due to the vision and energy of one man, along with his willing and highly committed team. Virgin Blue would never have become a viable airline force without his passion, his obsessiveness and even pedanticism – to use his own description of himself.
Rob Fyfe brought to Air New Zealand a change of style which drastically reshaped the mentality of the airline, engaging the workforce and its travelling public. Under his leadership the airline took on vital roles in community support during domestic tragedies over the past two years. He led from the front at all times – including the globally renowned marketing product designed to illustrate the airline's all-in offering. He has shown leadership in social media marketing and many other finer touches, including changing the way airlines do inflight safety announcements, encouraging passengers to pay attention to safety messages. Rob is the first to take his shirt off and join in.
Since CW Lee became CEO of Incheon International Airport Corp in 2008, the airport every year has been voted by Airports Council International as the world's best. Under his leadership the airport has been highly profitable while maintaining a high level of service at very low cost to airlines, and offering one of the world's best retail operations. After supervising the introduction of Phase 2 of the airport's now 44 million passenger capacity with a new runway and terminal expansions, CW Lee has prepared the financial and operational groundwork for Phase 3, which will see the airport capable of handling 62 million passengers annually and 5.8 million tonnes of cargo. Mr Lee has also diversified the company into consulting services for other airports, including taking a 10% holding in Vladivostok's Khabarovsk Airport.
Willie's focused and strategic management style has served him well at the helm of Aer Lingus, British Airways and IAG – of which he was the lead architect. In both 2015 and 2016, IAG achieved a return on invested capital above its estimated cost of capital, giving it the rare distinction among European legacy airline groups of creating economic value for investors.
Like those of other airlines, its 2016 results were helped by lower fuel prices, but IAG's strong improvement owes much to Willie Walsh's determination to stick to his goals, particularly as regards the turnaround of Iberia. IAG was the first among the larger European legacy groups to tackle labour cost restructuring. In addition, its 2013 acquisition of Vueling gave it a strategic advantage over Air France-KLM and Lufthansa in dealing with the short/medium haul threat from LCCs.
On long haul, it has eschewed anti-Gulf airline rhetoric with its Qatar Airways partnership, including a codeshare, a JV with BA and an equity stake. On the North Atlantic, it is now benefiting from its acquisition of Aer Lingus, and its long haul business has also been added to with the more recent launch of the long haul low cost airline brand LEVEL