Aer Lingus voted best short-haul airline at Guardian and Observer Travel Awards
Just six months after its acquisition by IAG, Aer Lingus has been voted best short-haul airline at a prestigious UK travel awards.
The Guardian and Observer Travel Awards saw it pip some of the world’s leading airlines, including Ryanair and British Airways, to the post.
The annual awards, voted for by readers of the Guardian and Observer newspapers, were announced at the National Museum of Scotland.
“Despite fierce competition from its former stakeholder Ryanair, Aer Lingus continues to thrive after its takeover last year by International Airlines Group, which owns British Airways," the judging panel said.
"This award is a vindication of our ongoing investment in improving the Aer Lingus guest experience and growing our network," said Keith Butler, Chief Commercial Officer, who described it as "a great coup" for the airline.
The UK is a crucial market for Aer Lingus, which now operates almost 40 routes between its various airports and Ireland. Many UK passengers also use Dublin as a hub airport for onwards connections to North America.
Profits at Aer Lingus surged 72pc to €124 million last year.
The awards also saw Belfast voted Best UK city, in a significant recognition of its ongoing transformation into a tourist destination.
Guardian & Observer Travel Award Winners 2016:
- Best short-haul airline: Aer Lingus
- Best long-haul airline: Singapore Airlines
- Best train line: Eurostar
- Best ferry: Northlink Ferries
- Best package holiday operator: Trailfinders
- Best hotel chain: Crowne Plaza
- Best ski operator: Crystal Ski
- Best cruise line: Royal Caribbean
- Most Trusted: Trailfinders
- Most open and honest: Exodus
- Most recommended: Singapore Airlines
- Most multi-platform: Exodus
- Best overseas city: Tokyo
- Best UK city: Belfast
- Ethical award: Magdas Hotel, Vienna