For the fourth year in a row, the UK's Travel Trade Gazette (TTG) has named Etihad Airways as 'Airline of the Year'.

At a ceremony held at London's Lyceum Theater, which was attended by 750 leading industry figures, the Abu Dhabi-based airline came ahead of their regional and international competition to take the top prize.

"To be awarded the coveted 'Airline of the Year' award for the fourth time in a row is a real honour for the airline and one we are very proud of, particularly as it is based on feedback from the UK's leading travel agents," Mohammed Al Bulooki, Executive Commercial Vice President of Etihad Airways told Khaleej Times

TTG was established as Travel Trade Gazette in 1953 and is known to be the world's first weekly travel trade newspaper.

The TTG Travel Awards have a two-stage judging process, with a shortlist initially decided by votes from travel agents. 

Subsequently, shortlisted companies are asked to outline achievements and performance during the past 12 months, which is then judged by a panel of industry experts and leading travel agencies.

"The TTG Travel Awards have earned a reputation for being the toughest awards to win in travel, so any company who takes home a trophy this year can be sure they really are the best-in-class," TTG's Group Editor Pippa Jacks told local media

Etihad Airways was singled out for being the UK's favourite airline by travel agents, and also won points with the judges for its strong business performance, passenger growth, fuel efficiency and further developments to its premium product.