Thursday 22 August 2019

Which airline was just voted best in the world for the fifth year running? Awards

Air New Zealand crew handing over All Blacks jerseys to Aer Lingus crew after Ireland's loss to New Zealand in 2016.
Air New Zealand crew handing over All Blacks jerseys to Aer Lingus crew after Ireland's loss to New Zealand in 2016.
Air New Zealand. Photo: Air New Zealand
A Qantas A380 flies over Sydney, Australia

Hugh Morris

The world’s best airline for 2018 has been announced – and the winner is no stranger to the accolade, picking up the top gong for the fifth time in a row.

Air New Zealand is the recipient of the number one placing by in its annual assessment of the world's carriers, ranking ahead of its antipodean rivals Qantas and Singapore Airlines.

Virgin Australia came fourth ahead of Virgin Atlantic in fifth, while Etihad, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Korean Air, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines completed the top 10.

The world's best airlines according to

  1. Air New Zealand
  2. Qantas
  3. Singapore Airlines
  4. Virgin Australia
  5. Virgin Atlantic
  6. Etihad Airways
  7. All Nippon Airways
  8. Korean Air
  9. Cathay Pacific
  10. Japan Airlines is an Australia-based safety and product rating website that rates the safety and in flight product of over 435 airlines.

“Whether number one or number 10, these airlines are the best of the best – the elite in aviation,” the judging team said.

Air New Zealand. Photo: Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand. Photo: Air New Zealand uses 13 criteria to create its rankings, examining the safety record of carriers (airlines must have a seven-star safety rating) as well as taking into account innovations in passenger comfort, passenger reviews, fleet age and environmental credentials.

It says the judging team places particular significance on the quality of premium economy seats on long-haul aircraft, which it says are “without a doubt the best value proposition for the passenger and airline”, and also checks that business class has flat beds.

“We are looking for leadership and airlines that innovate to make a real difference to the passenger experience, particularly in economy class,” the team said.

It said that though Air New Zealand topped the rankings for the fifth consecutive year, Qantas and Singapore Airline, both rolling out new aircraft in the form of Boeing 787s and Airbus A350s, are catching up.

Of Air New Zealand, said: “Air New Zealand is being honored for the fifth consecutive year for its continued record-breaking financial performance, in-flight innovations, environmental leadership, young fleet and motivation of its staff. These factors have stamped the airline as an industry trendsetter.

“Air New Zealand came out number one - or equal first - in all of our audit criteria, which is an exceptional performance.”

Europe’s only entry to the top 10 was Virgin Atlantic, which was praised for its “in-flight product and service”.

The top 10 of AirlineRatings differs from that of Skytrax, which is reponsible for the annual World Airline Awards. It rates Qatar Airways as the world's top carrier, ahead of Singapore Airlines and ANA.

The world's Top 10 airlines, according to Skytrax:

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. Emirates
  5. Cathay Pacific
  6. EVA Air
  7. Lufthansa
  8. Etihad Airways
  9. Hainan Airlines
  10. Garuda Indonesia

What are the world’s ‘worst’ airlines?

A Qantas A380 flies over Sydney, Australia
A Qantas A380 flies over Sydney, Australia

According to AirlineRatings, in a report last year, there are 10 airlines it deems to have just one star out of a possible seven when it comes to safety standards.

  • Batik Air
  • Bluewing Airlines
  • Citilink
  • Kal-Star aviation
  • Lion air
  • Sriwijaya Air
  • TransNusa
  • Trigana Air Service
  • Wings Air
  • Xpress Air

What are the world’s safest?

Earlier this year, AirlineRatings published a list of its 20 safest carriers, with 19 at equal pegging, but Qantas deemed out in front.

The world's safest airline, according to

  • Qantas

The 19 other safest airlines (in alphabetical order):

  • Air New Zealand
  • Alaska Airlines
  • All Nippon Airways
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Etihad Airways
  • EVA Air
  • Finnair
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Japan Airlines
  • KLM
  • Lufthansa
  • Scandinavian
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Swiss
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia also handed out a number of specialist awards for 2018, with the winners as follows.

  • Best first class - Singapore Airlines
  • Best business class - Virgin Australia
  • Best premium economy - Air New Zealand
  • Best economy - Korean Air
  • Best cabin crew - Singapore Airlines
  • Best catering - Qantas
  • Best lounges - Qantas
  • Best in-flight entertainment - Emirates
  • Regional airline of the year - Aegean Airlines
  • Most improved - Tiankin Airlines
  • Ultra low-cost airline of the year -
  • Best long haul - Etihad (Middle East/Africa), Korean Air (Asia/Pacific), Virgin Atlantic (Europe), Air Canada (Americas)
  • Best low-cost - Westjet (Americas), Scoot (Asia/Pacific), Norwegian (Europe)

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