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

08 February 2012

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

They have for the third 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's members flew high in the Cellars in the Sky airline award categories, taking first prizes in 10 of the 15 categories, along with 13 runners-up placings.  Airlines in the Star alliance achieved just two first prizes and five runners-up placings, while SkyTeam members achieved two first positions and two runners-up.

It is the 27th 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 32 airlines from around the world.

oneworld's Australian partner Qantas collected all the main prizes on offer for airlines - Best Business Class Cellar, Best First Class Cellar, Most Consistent Wines and Best Wine List Presentation. 

It also took the awards for Best Business Class Red, for its Australian Mount Langi Ghiran Cliff Edge Shiraz 2008 and Best First Class Sparkling (Champagne Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 1999.  Qantas received five second placings as well - for Business Class White, Business Class Sparkling, Business Class Fortified and Sweet, First Class White and First Class Fortified and Sweet.

Cathay Pacific took two top honours - as the Most Improved Business Class Cellar and for First Class Fortified and Sweet, for its Ramos Pinto Quinta de Ervamoira 10-year-old Tawny Port.  It also took a second placing for First Class Sparkling and a third placing for overall Consistency of Wines.

LAN was awarded first prize for its Business Class Sparkling, for its Champagne Louis Roederer Brut Premier.

British Airways took a second and third placing for First Class Red and a third place for First Class Fortified and Sweet.

Member elect Malaysia Airlines took a third place for Business Class White, and third placings for First Class White and First Class Sparkling.

The awards were presented last night by television wine presenter and Co-Chairman of the International Wine Challenge Charles Metcalfe at a ceremony in London.

The judges comprised: Charles Metcalfe; Sam Harrop, Master of Wine and wine-making consultant; Tim Atkin, Master of Wine; Peter McCrombie, Master of Wine, accredited tutor for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust; and John Worontschak, leading winemaker and wine business development consultant.

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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 is the world's premier global airline alliance.  It brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business - American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Qantas, Royal Jordanian and S7 Airlines, and around 20 affiliates including American Eagle, Dragonair, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador and LAN Peru.  airberlin will join on 20 March 2012 and Malaysia Airlines later in 2012.  India's Kingfisher Airlines is also a member elect.  Malév Hungarian Airlines and Mexicana are inactive members.

Between them, oneworld airlines and its members elect:

  • Serve more than 850 airports in nearly 150 countries, with more than 10.000 daily departures.
  • Offer more than 550 airport lounges for premium customers.
  • Carry a million passengers a day on a combined fleet of more than 2.500 aircraft.
  • Generate more than US$ 100 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 one of the most extensive ranges of alliance fares. 

oneworld is current holder of three of the five leading international awards for airline alliances - named the Best Airline Alliance by Global Traveler in its GT Tested Reader Survey 2011 Awards for the second year running, the World's Leading Airline Alliance in the 2011 World Travel Awards for the ninth year running and Best Airline Alliance 2011 in the debut Australian Business Traveller awards.