Cheers to oneworld, as the best alliance for in-flight wine again

04 February 2011

Judges at a leading international wine-tasting competition have said "cheers" to the oneworld® alliance and many of its member airlines once again.

They have for the second year running selected oneworld as the Best Alliance for the wines served in-flight by its member airlines in the latest Cellars in the Sky Awards, run by Business Traveller magazine, in association with the International Wine Challenge.

oneworld is also the current holder of the other "best alliance for wine" award, the Wines on the Wing trophy presented by Global Traveler magazine.

In addition, oneworld is current holder of three of the four leading international awards for airline alliances - named the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2010 Awards, World's Best Alliance in the 2010 World Airline Awards and the World's Leading Airline Alliance in the 2010 World Travel Awards, retaining that title for the eighth year running.

oneworld's members flew high in the Cellars in the Sky airline award categories, taking seven of the 12 first prizes up for grabs in the main categories, along with 17 runners-up placings.  Airlines in the Star alliance achieved just three first prizes and 17 runners-up placings, while SkyTeam members did not make it once to the winners' podium and took just two runners-up positions.

Glasses were raised most frequently to oneworld member Qantas - taking a total of six top prizes, including the top trophies overall for Best Business and First Class Cellars and for Consistency of Wines across Business and First Class.

Cathay Pacific was a runner-up in the Best First Class Cellar category, and American Airlines in the Best Business Class Cellar.

Qantas' other first places were for Best First Class White Wine, for its Barossa Peter Lehmann Wigan Eden Valley Riesling 2004; Best First Class Red, for its Canberra Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier 2006, and for Best First Class Sparking, for its Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1999.

American Airlines took top honours for Best Business Class White, for its Wegeler Bernkasteler Doktor Riesling 2007.

Qantas and Cathay Pacific were runners-up in four categories, British Airways in three and LAN in two.  Cathay Pacific and LAN were also commended for Most Improved Cellars for First and Business Classes respectively.

The awards were presented last night by television wine presenter and Co-Chairman of the International Wine Challenge Charles Metcalfe at a ceremony at London's Thistle Kensington Gardens Hotel

It is the 26th year that Cellars in the Sky Awards have been presented.  A panel of five leading experts blind-tasted hundreds of wines served on longhaul flights by a record 36 airlines from around the world.

The 2010 alliance award was received on behalf of oneworld by its Vice-President Corporate Affairs Michael Blunt, with Qantas Corporate Sales Manager UK and Ireland Louise Perrin collecting its awards, and American's trophy present to its Managing Director Sales and Marketing Europe Maria Sebastian.

The judges comprised: Charles Metcalfe; Sam Harrop, Master of Wine and wine-making consultant; Derek Smedley, Master of Wine for more than 40 years, consultant and co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge; Peter McCrombie, Master of Wine, accredited tutor for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and consultant; and John Worontschak, leading winemaker and wine business development consultant.

About Business Traveller

Business Traveller describes itself as the world's leading business travel publication, publishing some four million copies a year globally, in the UK, USA, Germany, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, China, Hungary, Denmark, Poland and Africa. See

About oneworld

oneworld brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malév Hungarian Airlines, Mexicana, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.  airberlin and India's Kingfisher Airlines are both members elect.  Between them, these airlines:

  • Serve almost 900 airports in nearly 150 countries, with some 9 500 daily departures.
  • Offer more than 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
  • Carry 340 million passengers a year.
  • Operate a combined fleet of almost 2 500 aircraft.
  • Generate around US$90 billion annual revenues in total.

oneworld enables its members to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own.  These include a broader route network, opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer miles and points across the combined oneworld network and more airport lounges.   oneworld also offers more alliance fares than any of its competitors.