Etihad Airways has confirmed that it is withdrawing from Skytrax, which rates and reviews airlines.
The UAE carrier has sent a letter to Skytrax formally announcing its decision to withdraw, after it conducted its own review of the criteria and measurement of the Skytrax Airline Rating System. It did not divulge the results of the review.
Skytrax responded, calling Etihad’s statement “misleading”. Etihad said its withdrawal from Skytrax will include its non-participation in the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards. But Skytrax said airlines “cannot be withdrawn from the World Airline Awards, since these results are directly decided by customers”.
“Skytrax do not exercise control over which airlines are nominated in the survey ratings, and to subsequently try and conceal the results of a public vote would be unacceptable,” the company said in a statement.
“We assume there is some underlying purpose or agenda behind the statement made by Etihad Airways to which we are not privy,” said Edward Plaisted of Skytrax.
“It is their right to make such a decision, but since Skytrax respect and do not publicly discuss issues that apply to both parties in confidentiality agreements we enter into with an airline, we cannot comment further on this,” he added.
Etihad is currently rated as a ‘four-star’ airline by Skytrax, which means it provides “a good product standard across different travel categories”. Local rival Emirates is also classed as four-star, while Qatar Airways is one of only seven ‘five-star’ carriers, along with Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, ANA, Asiana Airlines and Hainan Airlines.