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Airlines fly high at top travel awards gala

It's the season of the IFTAs, the Baftas, the Golden Globes and soon the Oscars.

And last night, the travel industry celebrated its own glitzy awards -- the ITTN prizes.

The long-running gala dinner night in the Burlington Hotel, organised by Irish Travel Trade News magazine, celebrated the best in the business.

Etihad Airways had its own Avatar-style sweeping of the boards, taking the Best Airline to Middle East/Africa, to Asia/Pacific and Business Class awards.



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Aer Lingus took the Best Airline to Europe prize, Continental came out top for flights to North America, and Virgin Atlantic won the Premium Economy Service award.

Topflight won the Best Ski Tour Operator category for a record 16th year, Sunworld was named Best Sun Holiday Tour Operator, while Sunway won the North America Tour Operators category.

Royal Caribbean International was voted Best Cruise Company, Silversea won the Luxury Cruise prize, Stena Line took the Best Ferry Company prize, while Holiday Autos and Hertz won the Car Hire categories.

The awards, presented by Irish Travel Agents Association president Jim Vaughan, also helped raise much-needed funds for Haiti.

ITTN editor and publisher Michael Flood revealed that more than €7,000 had been raised by an Etihad-sponsored raffle on the night, with a cheque being handed over today to the Irish Red Cross.

Discover all the winners in the Herald's own travel awards review on pages 38-39.