British Airways, Swoop and Spirit Airlines have been recognised among the top airlines at this year's CAPA Global Aviation Awards for Excellence. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency. ( ANA ).

British Airways took the prestigious title of Airline Of The Year at the CAPA Global Aviation Awards for Excellence held in Malta recently.

The awards, organised by the Centre for Aviation (CAPA), is the pre-eminent awards for strategic excellence in aviation and recognises successful airlines, airports and people within the aviation space worldwide. 

British Airways, Swoop and Spirit Airlines have been recognised among the top airlines.

CAPA Chairman Emeritus Peter Harbison said British Airways became the world’s favourite airline in the 1990s and it has taken some tough decisions to maintain its market position against increasing competition. “Under the leadership of CEO Alex Cruz, BA has not been afraid to adopt new ticketing practices, service levels, and is now among the frontrunners of distribution change and technology adoption - at the same time as achieving an industry-leading ROIC. 

"It is certainly "100 not out" for one of the world’s most famous airline brands,” said Harbison. 

Cruz felt “truly honoured to accept this award.”

“In this, our centenary year, we have much to celebrate from our past and much to look forward to for the future,” he said.

“We pioneered the first commercial passenger flight as Air Transport and Travel Limited starting with just one route to Paris. Since then, we have lead from the front, introducing innovative products such as the first lie-flat Business Class seat, operating the first jet-engine aircraft across the Atlantic, and flying customers at twice the speed of sound on Concorde,” he added. 

Spirit Airlines clenched the Low-Cost Airline of the Year title for “pioneering the ultra-low-cost model in North America.”

The airline was praised for “turning its operations around and improving its customer relations.”

The Regional Airline of the Year went to airBaltic. 

Here are the winners: 

Airline of the Year: British Airways

Low Cost Airline of the Year: Spirit Airlines

Regional Airline of the Year: airBaltic

Airline Turnaround of the Year: Lot Polish Airlines

Start-Up Airline of the Year: Swoop 

Large Airport of the Year: Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport

Medium Airport of the Year: Vienna International Airport 

Small Airport of the Year: Seville Airport

Airline Exec of the Year: Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Airlines

Source: Centre for Aviation (CAPA).