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World's 11 most innovative airlines

Last updated on: July 27, 2011 12:17 IST

World's 11 most innovative airlines

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Airlinetrends.com, an independent aviation and consumer trends research agency based in Netherlands, recently came up with a list of the world's 11 most innovative airlines.

The agency identified new commercial consumer ideas generated by changes in consumer behaviour and aviation.

This year, Airlinetrends.com ranked the 11 most innovative airlines, whose campaigns and services have also been an inspiration to others.

The objective behind the survey was to select airlines whose recent innovations are inspiring, interesting and challenging to a rapidly changing industry.

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Image: Innovative Airlines

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Rank 1: Air New Zealand

Based in Auckland, the airline operates scheduled passenger flights to 26 domestic destinations and 24 international destinations in 15 countries across Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania.

It is the only airline to circumnavigate the world.

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Image: Air New Zealand 747-400 at LAX.

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New Zealand's national airline operates a long-haul fleet consisting of Boeing 747, Boeing 767, Boeing 777 and Airbus A320 aircraft on international routes.

The carrier also utilises a fleet of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 airliners for short-haul operations.

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Image: Air New Zealand's Business Premier class.

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Rank 2: All Nippon Airways

It was founded in 1952, and has been consistently recognised for its excellent punctuality.

It is the second largest carrier in Japan, carrying millions of passengers each year.

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Image: An ANA Boeing 747-400 in a Pokemon livery takes off from Tokyo International Airport.
Photographs: Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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ANA flies to 35 different countries.

The company did not record any accident since 1975.

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Image: Club ANA business class cabin.
Photographs: Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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Rank 3: Lufthansa

Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried.

The name of the company is derived from Luft and Hansa (after the Hanseatic League, a powerful medieval trading group).

Lufthansa's registered office and corporate headquarters is in Deutz, Cologne.

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Image: Lufthansa's first Airbus A380 landing at Dusseldorf International Airport.

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The airline is the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating services to 18 domestic destinations and 203 international destinations in 78 countries across Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe.

Together with its partners Lufthansa services around 410 destinations.

With over 710 aircraft, it has the second-largest passenger airline fleet in the world when combined with its subsidiaries.

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Image: Economy Class aboard a Lufthansa Airbus A340-600.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
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Rank 4: Delta Airlines

Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline of the United States.

It is headquartered in College Park, Georgia.

Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day.

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Image: An Airbus A330-300 painted in New Delta livery.

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Delta is a founding member of the SkyTeam alliance.

On October 29, 2008, Delta merged with Northwest Airlines to form the world's largest airline.

The carrier will keep this distinction until rivals United Airlines and Continental Airlines achieve a 'Single Operating Certificate' from the FAA.

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Image: Delta Air Lines 767-300ER BusinessElite cabin with recliner seats.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
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Rank 5: Finnair

Finnair Plc is the flag carrier and largest airline of Finland.

The company has its headquarters on the grounds of Helsinki Airport in Vantaa, Finland.

Finnair is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance.

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Image: Airbus A319-100 taking off.
Photographs: Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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The airline has a network of 15 domestic and 55 international destinations.

In addition there are about 50 seasonal charter-flight destinations.

Finnair is the sixth oldest airline in the world with uninterrupted existence.

With no fatal or hull-loss accidents since 1963, it has also been ranked one of the safest airlines in the world.

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Image: Business Class of Finnair.
Photographs: Courtesy: Finnair
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Rank 6: Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Co. is an American airline.

It is based in Dallas, Texas.

Southwest Airlines traces its roots to the March 15, 1967 incorporation of Air Southwest Co. by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher to provide service within Texas.

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Image: A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 300 landing at McCarran International Airport.
Photographs: Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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Southwest operates more than 3,400 flights a day, utilising a fleet of 552 aircraft.

On March 29, 1971, Air Southwest Co. changed its name to Southwest Airlines Co.

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Image: The interior of a Southwest 737 700 with the airline's leather seating.
Photographs: Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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Rank 7: KLM

Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij NV, operating under the name KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the national airline of the Netherlands and is part of Air France-KLM.

KLM's headquarters are in Amstelveen near its hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

KLM operates worldwide scheduled passenger and cargo services to more than 90 destinations.

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Image: KLM MD-11.
Photographs: Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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KLM is the oldest airline in the world still operating under its original name.

The merger of KLM with Air France in May 2004 created Air France-KLM, which is incorporated under French law with headquarters at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Both Air France and KLM continue to fly under their distinct brand names.

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Image: KLM Boeing 777-200ER Economy Class.
Photographs: Wikimedia Commons
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Rank 8: Virgin America

Virgin America, Inc. is a United States-based low-cost airline.

San Francisco International Airport is Virgin America's principal base of operations and sole hub.

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Image: Air Colbert, the aircraft used in Virgin America's inaugural flight.
Photographs: Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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Virgin America, brainchild of British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, is headquartered in Burlingame, California.

It is separate from Virgin Atlantic and as such is under no obligation to work with Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, Virgin Galactic or any other companies that share the Virgin brand name.

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Image: Virgin America mood lighting.
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Rank 8: Cathay Pacific

Founded in 1946,Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong.

Its head office and main hub are located at Hong Kong International Airport.

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Image: Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-400 takes off.
Photographs: Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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The airline's registered office is on the 33rd floor of One Pacific Place.

The company serves more than 100 destinations in 36 different countries.

Cathay Pacific bagged several major industry awards to its name, including most notably Airline of the Year (2005), awarded by Skytrax.

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Image: Cathay Pacific New First Class on the Boeing 747-400.
Photographs: Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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Rank 9: Emirates

The flag carrier of Dubai, Emirates is the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 2,400 passenger flights per week, from its hub at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, to 111 cities in 62 countries across six continents.

The company also operates three of the world's ten longest non-stop commercial flights from Dubai to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston.

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Image: Airbus A330-200 lands at London Heathrow Airport.
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Emirates operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing wide-body aircraft and is one of only nine airlines to operate an all-wide-body aircraft fleet, whose centrepiece is the Boeing 777.

Emirates also has orders for 90 Airbus A380s with 15 of them already in service and became the second operator of the Airbus A380-800 after Singapore Airlines when their first aircraft was delivered on July 28, 2008.

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Image: Economy Class on Emirates B777-300ER.
Photographs: Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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Rank 10: Asiana

Asiana Airlines is one of South Korea's two major airlines.

The airline has its domestic hub at Gimpo International Airport and its international hub at Incheon International Airport.

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Image: Asiana Boeing 747 preparing to depart Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
Photographs: Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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Asiana Airlines has rapidly expanded since its establishment in 1988 to become a midsized, global carrier.

Asiana is a member of the Star Alliance and offers 516 daily departures throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania, operating 14 domestic and 85 international passenger routes.


Image: Business Class of Asiana.

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