Sorry about that, two small a topic thingy
Anyway, Air New Zealand is 1st in the Which? poll of 30 000 people in the United Kingdom followed by... Singapore Airlines Oh well, they did come first for three years running. "Singapore Airlines has been dethroned" according to Holday Which? Followed by Palmair Express. Never heard of them? Read on
ON CLOUD NINE, TINY AIRLINE VOTED ONE OF
The Express; Mar 3, 2001
BY ALUN REES
A BRITISH airline with one plane and whose boss waves goodbye to every passenger has beaten giant rivals to come third in a table of the world's best.
Palmair European operates from Bournemouth airport, with 14 flights a week to holiday destinations in Europe and North Africa.
Founder and chairman Peter Bath, 72, offers the personal touch by welcoming and waving off every passenger who uses his flights.
The airline, which emp- loys 22 cabin crew, was voted third best in the world in the prestigious poll published by the Consumer Association in Holiday Which? magazine.
Top of the list were Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines.
British Airways comes 26th in the survey of 50 international operators, with Virgin Atlantic securing ninth place and British Midland at 28. In the lower reaches of the league table, with around a five per cent approval rating, are Air France, Alitalia and Iberia.
Palmair managing director David Skillicorn, 41, said: "We removed a row of seats from the plane to give people more leg-room. So the comfort of our customers is very important to us.
"We have always offered seating allocation as part of the service, whereas some airlines charge for it.
"For us these things are the norm, not the exception. We believe that our customers should be treated in the same way that we would like to be treated.
"It is a great honour to be voted third best in the world and the top airline in Britain. We are all thrilled. It is an enormous tribute to our staff."
Palmair was founded by Mr Bath in 1957, with the first charter flights to Majorca filled with customers for his family travel business, Bath Travel.
He said: "After so many years, getting up early six mornings a week to greet departing passengers comes as second nature to me.
"It's all part of the personal service we provide.
"It seems incredible but I have probably waved off more than 16,000 flights. I think the friendliness and familiarity of our cabin crew is a major factor in our success. We get a massive amount of repeat business and people get to know our staff - it's a bit like a family gathering. We are delighted and stunned to be so highly regarded."
The Which? survey asked the question: "Would you recommend this airline to a friend?" It tested satisfaction over cabin air supply, cabin crew, catering, check-in staff, cleanliness, entertainment, leg-room, seat allocation, seat comfort, toilets and value for money.
Palmair recently switched from a 146 Whisperjet to a larger Boeing 737 and increased passenger numbers from 38,000 to 50,000 a year. There are weekly flights to places like the Algarve, Corfu, Tenerife and Croatia and the company also provides a programme of day trips to areas ranging from Leipzig to Marrakesh.
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