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ANA and Cebu Pacific scoop top Asian airline awards at CAPA gala. Emirsyah Satar exec of the year

The CAPA Awards for Excellence in Aviation are awarded to 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.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has been named the CAPA Asia Pacific Airline of the Year at a gala reception at the CAPA Asia Aviation Summit in Singapore.

Hiroyuki Ito, Senior Executive Vice President of ANA, accepted the award from CAPA Executive Chairman, Peter Harbison. The CAPA Asia Pacific Airline of the Year is awarded to the carrier that has had the greatest impact on the development of the airline industry, established itself as a leader and the benchmark for others to follow.

ANA has successfully implemented a multi-brand model with the launch of two new low-cost or hybrid carriers and has been at the vanguard of the multi-brand model in this region”, said Mr Harbison. “Recognising the importance of participating in the low-cost sector while also continuing to expand the full-service brand has required courage and persistence and ANA has overcome numerous obstacles along the way”.

ANA has meanwhile made significant investments in new technology and products, reinforcing its position as an industry leader, while improving efficiency and restructuring its business. ANA has embarked on successful acquisitions outside the airline sector and entered new partnerships with airlines from outside its global alliance to strengthen its position in the fast growing and strategically important Southeast Asian market.

“Our Asia Pacific Airline of the Year has established joint ventures with key alliance partners covering all long-haul operations, reducing risk and strengthening its position in key markets. It has also pursued dramatic international expansion this year, improving its long-term position as it overtook its main competitor while successfully managing a split international hub”, said Mr Harbison.

The CAPA Asia Pacific Airline Executive of the Year for 2014 is Emirsyah Satar, CEO, Garuda Indonesia.

“Emirsyah Satar has been one of Asia’s longest running CEOs and one of the region’s most respected airline executives. In his 10 years at the helm he has turned around a previously ailing and highly unprofitable flag carrier, leading and inspiring a renaissance and complete financial restructuring of the airline. The carrier successfully completed an initial public offering in 2011, the first one for an airline in one of Asia’s largest markets, and joined a global alliance earlier this year while forging several important new partnerships with airlines inside and outside the alliance”.

Garuda posted net profits every year from 2007 to 2013 and this year, under Mr Satar’s leadership, the carrier has responded to the most challenging market conditions by making important adjustments that will strengthen the airline’s long-term position. This has included a dual brand strategy that has resulted in the relaunch of a budget carrier and a rapid growth strategy that is winning back domestic market share. Garuda has invested heavily in fleet renewal and expansion, resulting in efficiency and product improvements and raised the standards and international profile of a brand that has a strong history but had been languishing. Mr Satar, now in his last year as CEO, will be remembered as the most influential CEO in his airline’s 65-year history and one of our industry’s strongest leaders”.

The CAPA Asia Pacific LCC of the Year for 2014 is Cebu Pacific, accepted by Garry Kingshott, Chief Executive Advisor.

“Our LCC of the Year has endured a tumultuous period in its home market, but maintained its focus and reported its highest ever quarterly profit in 2Q2014 and had the highest operating profit margin in the Asian airline industry”, said Mr Harbison. “The carrier has launched a long-haul operation which strategically improves its long-term position by opening up new markets, while quickly responding to challenges in this segment. Cebu Pacific has been active in the M&A market, enabling further gains in market share and key slots at its hub, and it was able to quickly turn-around the new subsidiary. The carrier has steadily grown its domestic market share, which now exceeds a powerful 60% and forged an alliance with another LCC group, recognising the need to adapt as competition intensifies”.

The CAPA Asia Pacific Large International Airport of the Year (25m+ pax) for 2014 is Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), accepted by Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, Managing Director of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd.

“KLIA is a worthy winner of the large airport category”, said Mr Harbison. “It grew passenger traffic by 19% in 2013, making it the fastest growing major airport in the Asia Pacific region and the only airport in the region’s top 10 to register double digit growth. It has been a pioneer in attracting LCC transit traffic, an important new sector with huge potential and in May this year opened a new state of the art terminal designed specifically for low-cost and hybrid carriers. KLIA has become a pioneer in offering a hybrid solution in today’s dynamic and highly competitive industry and in offering a new model of connectivity”.

The CAPA Asia Pacific Medium International Airport of the Year (15-25m pax) for 2014 is Osaka Kansai International Airport, accepted by Tadashi Shimura, Managing Director & Executive Officer of the New Kansai International Airport Company.

“Osaka Kansai International Airport has aggressively and successfully pursued low-cost and hybrid carriers, while also still responding adeptly to the needs of full-service carriers”, said Mr Harbison. “The airport has encouraged LCCs to establish bases, boosting passenger numbers and the local economy. Another three foreign LCCs have been added to the airport’s roster over the past year for a total of nine while local LCCs have also expanded, driving up its LCC penetration rate to 33%. This has contributed to double digit passenger growth in 2012 and again in 2013 and strong high single digit growth recorded so far in 2014 despite being in a mature market”.

The CAPA Asia Pacific Small International Airport of the Year (<15m+ pax) for 2014 is Macau International Airport, accepted by Emma Tang, Deputy Director Marketing Department.

Macau is on pace to grow passenger traffic by over 10% in 2014 for the third consecutive year”, said Mr Harbison. “The airport’s management has successfully encouraged and attracted low-cost carriers, establishing an LCC penetration rate that is among the highest in North Asia. Its leadership has adopted a pragmatic approach to cost, providing the framework for further LCC expansion”.

The CAPA Asia Pacific Start-up of the Year for 2014 is West Air, accepted by Zhu Tao, Chairman and CEO.

“West Air is the first airline to successfully transition to the LCC model in one of Asia’s largest but least penetrated markets – becoming a catalyst for others to adopt the LCC model in China”, said Mr Harbison. “The company has successfully reduced its cost structure, changed its product and transitioned fleet to a single type. A strategy to lower fares in underserved but price sensitive secondary markets has stimulated growth in the market. West Air has proven the LCC model is the way forward for unlocking growth in China’s undeveloped western region”, said Mr Harbison.

About CAPA and the CAPA Awards for Excellence

Established in 1990, CAPA – Centre for Aviation is the leading provider of independent aviation market intelligence, analysis and data services, covering worldwide developments.

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, popular votes or sponsorship. They are independently researched by CAPA’s leading team of analysts, then selected by an independent international panel of advisors.

Note: The Global CAPA Awards for Excellence will be announced at a Gala Ceremony at the World Aviation Summit in Brussels/Antwerp on 20 November 2014. More information about these awards will be released later in August 2014.

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