MALAYSIA Airlines (MAS) has been ranked among the top five airlines in various categories, including the top spot for favourite airline food, in a three-month online poll conducted by Smart Travel Asia website.
The 2005 Smart Travel Asia Favourite Airline Poll that closed at the end of last month asked its readers to vote among 79 airlines, with an additional 26 small airlines in their own separate category.
Some 60% of the voters were from the Asian region, 20% from Britain and Europe, and 20% from the United States.
The website said the national carrier performed consistently well in most categories. Of the eight categories, the Favourite Airline Food and Favourite Small Airline categories were new additions.
Under the category of Favourite Airline Overall, MAS, which was not in the top five in the online poll last year, was voted as third best after Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines.
However, for Favourite Airline Food, curry-kind MAS beat them all with 15% of the votes, just ahead of close rival Singapore Airlines with 14%, and Thai Airways International (12%), the website said.
While Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines bagged the number one and two positions respectively for favourite economy class, MAS ranked fourth after Thai Airways International. Last year, MAS was third best.
MAS maintained its third spot for Favourite Business Class and while it was not among the top five for Favourite First Class last year, it ranked a proud fifth this year, beating airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, United, Lufthansa and Air France.
Malaysia Airlines also made headway in the category of Favourite Cabin Service, when it was voted fourth best after it failed to gain top five placing last year. The top one, two and three airlines under this category were Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International, respectively.
The poll also said the growth of small, low-cost, no-frill airlines in Asia had been spectacular, and major airlines had chipped in with versions of their own.
“Air Asia, the fastest-growing 'small' airline with its catchy slogan - Now everyone can fly- bagged fifth place with a creditable 8% vote,” the website said.
The top four favourite small airlines were Bangkok Airways (19%), Jet Airways (17%), SilkAir (11%) and Virgin Blue (10%), in that order.