July 2010 | Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern carriers have been dominating the Skytrax World Airline Awards for years. In fact, in the past decade, British Airways (2006) has been the only Western carrier to capture the ‘Airline of the Year’ award. Skytrax surveys passengers on their opinion on 38 different items for each airline’s products and services. Two recent winners of the ‘Airline of the Year’ award, Cathay Pacific (2009) and Asiana (2010) have recently been sharing their service expertise with the outside world. Both airlines are also two of just six airlines in the world that have been awarded a ‘5 star’ status by Skytrax.
Cathay Pacific has just launched a new book, called ‘Service in the Sky’, in which it shares its expertise in training cabin crew. Written by training instructors from the Cathay’s Inflight Services Training & Development department, ‘Service in the Sky’ includes 24 real case studies depicting difficult situations and recommended approaches, articles on different aspects of Cathay Pacific’s service beliefs and its training philosophy and techniques. The book also contains the airline’s cabin crew training modules, and cabin crew job requirements and application processes. Cathay says passengers expect more when they fly than when they travel on other modes of public transport, and while the articles are largely related to the airline’s operations, the underlying principles can easily be applied to other service-related industries. Proceeds from the book will be donated to the Sunnyside Club, a charity launched by Cathay Pacific staff.
Asiana Airlines, meanwhile, has provided a series of education seminars on service management for Korean restaurants in Japan, China and the United States. Starting from Tokyo, then on to Beijing and ending in Los Angeles, a cabin service training team of the airline offered its know-how to 600 employees and managers from Korean restaurants during four-day training sessions. Asiana also shared best practices from its flight attendants, who frequently visit Korean restaurants around the world. The service training was part of the Korean Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ program to promote Korean cuisine and culture as part of the 2010-2012 Visit Korea Year.