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Fortune names best airlines

Most admired companies revealed

[March 6th 2009]

Continental Airlines flight

Continental Airlines, Air France-KLM and Southwest Airlines have been named as the best airlines in the world in a new survey.

In Fortune Magazine’s annual list of the World's Most Admired Companies, Houston based Continental Airlines was named the World's Most Admired airline for the sixth consecutive year. The airline was also ranked in the top ten companies for management quality across all industries in the survey.

"Continental's more than 42,000 co-workers are the reason for our success, and I'm proud to see their hard work recognised again this year. They have shown once again that they are the best team in the airline industry," comments Continental chairman and CEO, Larry Kellner.

In the annual survey companies are evaluated according to the quality of products/services, global competitiveness, people management, quality of management, social responsibility, innovation, use of corporate assets, financial soundness and long-term investment.

Continental received an overall score of 7.71, followed by Air France-KLM Group (7.15), Southwest Airlines (6.89), Singapore Airlines (6.85), Lufthansa Group (6.57) and Delta Air Lines (6.18).

Continental is the fifth largest airline in the world and offers more than 2,800 daily flights in the Americas, Europe and Asia. With sister company Continental Express the airline carries approximately 67 million passengers per year.

Southwest Airlines ranked number 7 on the list of the 50 Most Admired Companies in the World in the Fortune Magazine survey.

"I celebrate this wonderful honour with the employees of Southwest Airlines. I'm privileged to work with the most dedicated, happy, productive, and devoted airline employees in the world," says Southwest Airlines chairman, president, and CEO, Gary Kelly.

Southwest serves only the domestic United States and this week released its latest passenger figures for February. Load factors increased slightly to 69.1% compared to 68.6% in February 2008. But the airline says revenues fell in February compared to January. “Business travel, in particular, has softened significantly, as measured by a decline in the percentage of full-fare traffic,” Southwest reports.

Written by: Nick Purdom

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