In 2022, the Wings of Russia Annual National Aviation Awards has a special, jubilee status: it will be awarded for the twenty-fifth time.
For a quarter of a century, the award has served as an indicator of the state of the country’s civil aviation, carefully tracking not only the general trends of the air transportation market, but also the contribution of airlines of various sizes and roles to its development.
Back in 1997, the founders — the Air Transport Observer magazine, the Infomost Consulting company and the Russian Association of Air Transport Operators — conceived this award to solve two interrelated tasks. The first task is to create a means for rallying and rewarding air transport professionals. The second is to draw the attention of the business community to this area of business.
"We are confident that the Wings of Russia Awards will prove to be a very significant event and will contribute to the formation of new, modern relations in the air transport industry of our country"
Evgeny Chibiryov, President of RAATO, 1997
Over the past 25 years, Russian civil aviation has radically changed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The volume of traffic increased multiple times, there was a significant consolidation of market participants, a complete replacement of the fleet of outdated aircraft was carried out, the most modern world technologies and business management practices were implemented.
Accordingly, the evaluation criteria that are used in choosing the winners of the competition for the Wings of Russia Awards have also changed. At the end of the last century, the main focus was on the recovery growth and the airline development dynamics. Now, the contribution that air carriers make to the qualitative improvement of the industry, its compliance with the best world practices, global competitiveness and sustainable development have become much more important. Not overlooked are the companies that are painstakingly working to maintain and develop the route network in the vast territory of our country, to increase the availability of air travel for the population.
But all these years, the basic principles of the award have remained unchanged: objectivity, non-bias, inadmissibility of administrative, clan, ordered influence in determining the award laureates.
Airlines and airports can nominate themselves for the award. In addition, an applicant can be nominated by any member of the organizing committee of the competition. A number of formal requirements are imposed on applicants — such as the absence of plane crashes, successful work in the market for more than two years, a stable economic situation, etc.
Over the years of the competition, a combined objective-subjective way of determining the winners has proven its effectiveness: according to operational indicators, a list of companies that have reached the final is formed, and then the members of the expert council, relying not only on the data provided, but also on their own knowledge and experience, determine the best companies by secret ballot. The only exception is the "Leader of Passenger Sympathy" nomination, in which the best airlines and airports are determined by the users of air transport services by participating in a mass Internet survey.
The expert council of the Wings of Russia Awards includes representatives of government authorities, aviation business, financial circles, public organizations and the media, as well as distinguished civil aviation persons and independent experts.
A detailed description of all conditions is set out in the regulation on the competition, which is published on its official website wingsofrussiaawards.ru/en.
In this jubilee year for the award, in addition to the main nominations, the organizing committee has established special prizes "For Contribution to the Development of Air Transport in Russia". They will highlight special achievements of the industry companies in shaping the modern image of the country’s civil aviation.
Winners of the Wings of Russia National Aviation Awards, holders of the anniversary special prizes will be named at a ceremony to be held on April 5, 2022 in Moscow.