The Global AirRail Awards 2016 ceremony took place in Helsinki, celebrating the incredible achievements of Airports, Rail Operators, Airlines, Planners and Suppliers – who work together to create an amazing experience for travellers around the world.
The Global AirRail Awards is an annual programme, built to recognise the effort, best practices and results of the global air-rail community.
Connecting a railway station with an airport, bringing airport amenities to the city rail terminal, providing joint passenger information or seamless airline/railway journey planning and booking – all this seamless air and rail integration requires close cooperation, transparent communication with stakeholders and an open mind for innovation.
The Global AirRail Awards judges are professionals in the air and rail industries. They evaluated entries from all around the world in number of categories and selected the winners with the highest scores in service to customers, business results, innovation, communication, cooperation and other selected criteria.
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This year winners were named in ten categories:
North Star Air Rail Link of the Year
The North Star Air Rail Link of the Year award recognises the service with best performance results and highest overall impact to the air-rail market over the past year.
The winner of this category is KLIA Ekspres, who faced with number of humbling challenges last year, managed to achieve the highest ridership, revenue and operating profit in their 13-year history. On top of that the company introduced new train design, VIP guest services and the new TravelPass for improved passenger experience.
Airport of the Year
This award is dedicated to recognising an airport that actively works with its partners in creating the best air-rail experience for its customers.
The winner of this category is Gatwick Airport - in 2015 the airport served over 40 million passengers for the first time. Rail is vital to Gatwick’s aspiration to become London’s Airport of Choice, bringing 38% of their passengers to the airport. The introduction of Oyster and Contactless payment further contributed to a seamless journey through the airport.
Customer Service Excellence
The Customer Service Excellence award looks for the best examples of delivering an enjoyable and stress free journey from air to rail.
The winner of this category is Flytoget - an entire organization was involved in developing a revised service concept. Everyone, from service personnel to finance staff, was trained to understand the importance of customer service; creating a truly uniting commitment to giving the best service, every day.
This award recognises the importance of the social responsibility initiatives in the overall company’s strategy.
The winner of this category is Express Rail Link with the FROG Classroom Makeover Project. A total of 28 volunteers from the company signed up for the project to transform one classroom in a selected school, sourcing the funds and undertaking the physical task of transforming the classroom itself.
AccesRail Integrated Air-Rail Partnership of the Year
This award celebrates successful partnerships between operators, suppliers and organisations, who work together to create seamless air-rail journeys.
The winner of this category is Lufthansa and Deutsche Bahn with the opening of the Intermodal Back-office within the Lufthansa Integrated Operations Control Center, equipped with the real time Deutsche Bahn information platform. The partnership has been lifted on a higher cooperation level, ensuring even better customer experience.
Marketing Campaign of the Year
This award is dedicated to recognising the most creative and successful marketing campaigns in the air-rail sector.
The winner of this category is Airtrain City Link with the No Worries campaign. In June 2015, Airtrain launched the new “no worries” re-brand campaign, putting customers in control and making their travel to the airport stress-free.
Travelport Project of the Year
This award is given to a project that is contributing, or will contribute greatly to future air-rail services.
The winner of this category is the Regional Transportation District with the Denver Airport A Line project, which was made possible through the PPP, the collaboration of RTD, its partners and the community, creating well-paying jobs and upgrading many transportation facilities.
Best Product/Innovation of the Year
This award is designed to recognise the best idea, execution and the impact to business improving services on air-rail journeys.
The winner of this category is Abellio Group and Cubic Transportation Systems with the introduction of NextAgent, an innovative hybrid between a standard ticket office and a ticket vending machine with a video-linked call centre, piloted at Stansted Airport as part of a partnership project with Abellio Group.
Best Distribution Solution
This award looks into innovations and successful implementations of fare collection and distribution systems that create better experience for air-rail passengers.
The winner of this category is Travelport and Hahn Air. Through Travelport’s MyTraining service Hahn Air has made a demo air-rail check-in application so that travel agents can access it at any time for training or simulation purposes.
Personality of the Year
Personality of the Year award recognises the achievements of an individual who through his or her work has contributed greatly to global air-rail integration. This year’s AirRail Personality of the Year is Mohamed Bhanji, Special Advisor to the Chief Commercial Officer of VIA Rail. Mohamed is a truly visionary innovator and a driving force behind the initiatives to build an interconnected transportation network. He is a pioneer in GDS distribution of railway tickets and the initiator of the development of an internet booking engine, making VIA Rail Canada the first railway in the world to have this capability.