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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. Winners for the Asia Pacific awards will be announced at a gala dinner held in Singapore on 14-Nov-2019 as part of CAPA's Asia Aviation and Corporate Travel Summit. Winners for the global awards will be announced at a gala dinner in Malta on 5-Dec-2019 as part of CAPA's World Aviation Outlook Summit.

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.

Nominations are now being accepted for 10 award categories. Nominations from Asia Pacific and the Middle East will be considered for the Asia Pacific awards as well as for the global awards, while nominations from other regions will be considered for the global awards. All winners of the Asia Pacific awards will be automatically considered for the global awards along with candidates from other regions.

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.

The following categories will be awarded both in Singapore (CAPA Asia Pacific Awards) and in Malta (CAPA Global Awards):

  • 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.

To submit a proposal:

Please provide full information about your company/organisation, executive or innovation, with detailed documentary support. Please ensure that the specific criteria set out under each award heading are clearly addressed.

Nominations must be signed off by the CEO or President of the company/organisation involved.

Where appropriate, proposals for more than one award category can be submitted. Only nominations received by 15 August 2019 will be entertained. Submissions should be sent by email to Marco Navarria, CAPA Head of Content Curation at: mnavarria@centreforaviation.com

About the judging process:

There will be two independent panels of judges for Asia Pacific and global awards. The judges will review the nominations, which are received from industry as well as from CAPA analysts. The world's airports and airlines are reviewed constantly through the year by CAPA's analyst and data teams. The decisions of CAPA's judging panels will be final.

To review prior year winners refer to the CAPA Awards for Excellence website.

Note that nominations are not accepted for the CAPA Legend Award. The Legend Award is an occasional award that is given to individuals that have stood out as making a substantial long term difference to the industry in which they work.

2018 CAPA Awards


Medium Airport of the Year
2018

Avinor Oslo Airport - Medium Airport of the YearAvinor Oslo Airport

Large Airport of the Year
2018

Orlando International Airport - Large Airport of the YearOrlando International Airport

Innovation of the Year
2018

Winding Tree - Innovation of the YearWinding Tree

Airline Startup of the Year
2018

Level - Airline Startup of the YearLevel

Airline Turnaround of the Year
2018

Air Malta - Airline Turnaround of the YearAir Malta

Regional Airline of the Year
2018

CityJet - Regional Airline of the YearCityJet

Low Cost Airline of the Year
2018

WOW Air - Low Cost Airline of the YearWOW Air

Airline Group of the Year
2018

Qantas Group - Airline Group of the YearQantas Group

Airline Executive of the Year
2018

Wizz Air - Airline Executive of the YearJozsef Varadi
CEO, Wizz Air

2018 CAPA Asia Pacific Awards


Low Cost Airline of the Year
2018

Thai Lion Air - Low Cost Airline of the YearThai Lion Air

Regional Airport of the Year
2018

Senai Airport - Regional Airport of the YearSenai Airport

Medium Airport of the Year
2018

Mactan-Cebu International Airport - Medium Airport of the YearMactan-Cebu International Airport

Large Airport of the Year
2018

Incheon Airport - Large Airport of the YearIncheon Airport

Airline Turnaround of the Year
2018

Saudia - Airline Turnaround of the YearSaudia

Airline Startup of the Year
2018

flyadeal - Airline Startup of the Yearflyadeal

Regional Airline of the Year
2018

Alliance Airlines - Regional Airline of the YearAlliance Airlines

Airline of the Year
2018

Japan Airlines - Airline of the YearJapan Airlines

2017 CAPA Awards


Airline of the Year
2017

Norwegian - CAPA Airline of the YearNorwegian Air Shuttle

Airline Executive of the Year
2017

Aeromexico - CAPA Airline Executive of the YearAndres Conesa
CEO, Aeromexico

Low Cost Airline of the Year
2017

jetBlue - CAPA Low Cost Airline of the YearjetBlue Airways

Regional Airline of the Year
2017

airBaltic - CAPA Regional Airline of the YearairBaltic

Airline Turnaround of the Year
2017

TAP Portugal - CAPA Airline Turnaround of the YearTAP Portugal

Start-up of the Year
2017

Cobalt Air - CAPA Start-up of the YearCobalt Air

Airport of the Year
2017

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport - CAPA Airport of the YearAmsterdam Schiphol Airport

Medium Airport of the Year
2017

Dublin Airport - CAPA Medium Airport of the YearDublin Airport

Regional Airport of the Year
2017

Pittsburgh International Airport - CAPA Regional Airport of the YearPittsburgh International Airport

Legend Award
2017

Willie Walsh (IAG) - CAPA Legend AwardWillie Walsh (IAG)

Legend Award
2017

Carolyn McCall (easyJet) - CAPA Legend AwardCarolyn McCall (easyJet)

2017 CAPA Asia Pacific Awards


Small Airport of the Year
2017

Sunshine Coast Airport - CAPA Small Airport of the YearSunshine Coast Airport

Medium Airport of the Year
2017

Perth Airport - CAPA Medium Airport of the Year of the YearPerth Airport

Large Airport of the Year
2017

Changi Airport Group - CAPA Large Airport of the YearChangi Airport Group

Tourism Organisation of the Year
2017

Philippines Department of Tourism - CAPA Tourism Organisation of the YearPhilippines Department of Tourism

Airline Start-up of the Year
2017

Air Seoul - CAPA Airline Start-up of the YearAir Seoul

Regional Airline of the Year
2017

Regional Express - CAPA Regional Airline of the YearRegional Express

Low Cost Airline of the Year
2017

AirAsia - CAPA Low Cost Airline of the YearAirAsia

Airline of the Year
2017

Vietnam Airlines - CAPA Airline of the YearVietnam Airlines

Aviation Executive
of the Year 2017

Qatar Airways - CAPA Aviation Executive of the YearH.E. Akbar Al-Baker
Gr. Chief Exec, Qatar Airways

Past Awards


CAPA Low Cost Airline of the Year

2010

  • Tiger Airways - CAPA Low Cost Airline of the Year 2010Tiger Airways

2006

  • Tiger Airways - CAPA Low Cost Airline of the Year 2006Tiger Airways

CAPA Aviation Executive of the Year

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

  • Dr Vijay Mallya, Kingfisher Airlines - CAPA Aviation Executive of the Year 2008
    Dr Vijay Mallya
    Kingfisher Airlines

2006

2005

2004

CAPA Hall Of Fame


Dr Cheong Choong Kong - 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."

Ray Webster - CAPA Hall Of Fame

Ray Webster

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."

Maurice Flanagan - CAPA Hall Of Fame

Maurice Flanagan

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 - CAPA Hall Of Fame

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.

Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes - CAPA Hall Of Fame

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 - CAPA Hall Of Fame

Brett Godfrey

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 - CAPA Hall Of Fame

Rob Fyfe

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.

CW Lee - CAPA Hall Of Fame

CW Lee

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 Walsh - CAPA Hall Of Fame

Willie Walsh

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