McLEAN, Va., USA and PALM SPRINGS, Calif., 5 October 2009 – Thirty-eight commercial airlines from around the world competed for the 21st Annual WAEA Avion Award of distinction honoring excellence in inflight entertainment and voted on by passengers around the world. The winners in each of the four regional categories as well as Best Overall in large and small airline categories were announced at the grand opening of the WAEA 30th Annual Conference & Exhibition in Palm Springs. V Australia won Best Overall for small airlines and Emirates received the other top honor as Best Overall for the large airlines.

Tonight, during the 21st Annual Avion Award Ceremony, winners were congratulated by the entire inflight entertainment and communications (IFE&C) industry. Retired industry veterans were also invited to join in the celebration.

Regional winners included:

Best in Region – Americas
Virgin America
Best in Region – Asia and Australasia
Singapore Airlines
Best in Region – Europe
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Best in Region – Middle East and Africa

The winners were ranked highest by airline passengers in opinion polls administered online in eleven languages by Skytrax; a leader in airline passenger opinion studies. Skytrax assessed the data collected over a two-month period from 60,000 worldwide passengers who rated their IFE experiences. The airlines with the highest ratings in passenger satisfaction received the 2009 Avion Award mark of excellence.
Additionally, WAEA recognized the superior accomplishments of Virgin America for the Avion Awards for Best Single Achievement in IFE and Aircell LLC for the Best Achievement in Technology category. These Avion Award winners were judged by a jury of industry peers and selected for their significant success in each category.

Airlines entering the Best Single Achievement in IFE competition submitted 1,000-word essays detailing their accomplishments. A panel of industry experts evaluated the submissions and the top six finalists made oral presentations yesterday to a group of peer judges. The winner, First Runner Up Thomson Airways and Second Runner Up Continental Airlines were announced at the ceremony tonight.

The Avion Award for Best Achievement in Technology this year was open to any WAEA member, airline or vendor. Companies submitted essays outlining their technological accomplishments in IFE&C and entries were reviewed by a jury of industry representatives from each segment (airline, hardware, software, distributor, lab, and service companies).

“Congratulations to all of our 21st Annual Avion Award participants and winners,” says Christine Ringger, president of the WAEA. “In its twenty-first year, the WAEA Avion Awards encourages healthy competition and increases the appetite for excellence in the inflight entertainment and communications industry. It is this spirit of competition that drives the industry to higher standards and innovation year after year.”

For more information about the WAEA Avion Awards or the inflight entertainment industry, visit the WAEA Web site at or contact Liz Jayankura-Jones, or +1.703.610.9039.

About WAEA
Founded in 1979 as a non-profit organization, The WAEA is the official worldwide network representing nearly 400 airlines and airline suppliers committed to excellence in inflight entertainment and communications and the continual improvement of the airline passenger experience. For more information regarding the WAEA and the IFE and communications industry, please visit