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As part of the 2019 CAPA World Aviation Outlook Summit, the organization presented awards in categories including airline of the year, low-cost airline of the year, and start-up airline of the year.
Low-cost airline of the year: Spirit Airlines
Spirit Airlines was established in 1993 as an American low-cost carrier. It now services 50 locations, including the U.S., Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, according to CAPA.
CAPA suggests Spirit is “evolving” the low-cost airline model by using new technology to drive up non-ticket revenue, which it projects will increase by three percent in 2020.
Start-up airline of the year: Swoop
Swoop is a Canadian low-cost airline and a subsidiary of WestJet that began operations in June of 2018, according to CAPA. The airline flies a fleet of Boeing 737-800s.
“Swoop was selected for its execution of creating a brand within a brand and introducing the [ultra-low-cost] model in Canada on a large scale, transporting roughly one million passengers during its first year of operations,” CAPA said.
Airline of the year: British Airways
British Airways has long been an innovator and has evolved into a “new generation airline” by refining its activity to compete with low-cost European carriers, according to CAPA. The airline is also undergoing a “major fleet renewal,” introducing long haul aircraft, redesigned lounges, new dining, new amenities, increased onboard WiFi and power access for every seat, the aviation organization said.
CAPA noted that while only 45 years old, British Airways is built on 100 years of history dating back to the 1919 launch of Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited—the world’s first daily scheduled international air service between London and Paris.
“British Airways was famously the world’s favorite airline in the 1990s and it has taken some tough decisions to maintain its market position against increasing competition,” CAPA chairman emeritus Peter Harbison said.
British Airways is investing over $8.5 billion in new, more efficient, aircraft, according to the company’s chairman and CEO Alex Cruz. The company is “committed to net zero emissions by 2050.”