Air New Zealand has edged past Singapore Airlines to be ranked as the world’s best airline by AirlineRatings.com. This is now the sixth time Air New Zealand has won this award. The airline emerged on top in most of the audit criteria, achieving “excellence” in all facets, including governance, customer promise, and airline strategy.
Last year’s winner, Singapore Airlines, which has introduced its new A350 and 787-10 in the past two years, fell to the second spot. Japan-based All Nippon Airways, a leading operator of the Boeing 787 and a launch customer for the 777X, was ranked third. The airline was praised for being at the forefront of cabin innovation.
Ranked fourth was Australia’s Qantas, noted for its strong financial performance and achieving its all-time high customer approval ratings. Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways occupied the fifth spot.
AirlineRatings.com is an aviation safety and product rating website based in Perth, Australia. The airline rankings for 2020 were launched as part of the Airline Excellence Awards, judged by seven industry experts. The rankings are based on 12 key criteria that include product offerings, passenger reviews, fleet age, staff relations, investment rating, and profitability, in addition to major safety and government audits.
A spot among the top 20 airlines requires at least a seven-star safety rating as well as innovation by the airline for passenger comfort. Audited feedback by the passengers on the agency’s website is also taken into consideration.
Top 20 Airlines for 2020
The top 20 airlines are ranked as follows.
- Air New Zealand
- Singapore Airlines
- All Nippon Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Virgin Atlantic
- EVA Air
- Qatar Airways
- Virgin Australia
- Japan Airlines
- Korean Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- British Airways
- Alaska Airlines
- Delta Air Lines
- Etihad Airways
Airline Excellence Awards 2020
Air New Zealand, Qatar Airways, Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Emirates have bagged multiple awards based on individual criteria. The winners of the various awards are as follows.
Airline of the Year: Air New Zealand
Best First Class: Singapore Airlines
Best Business Class: Qatar Airways
Best Premium Economy: Air New Zealand
Best Economy: Virgin Australia
Best Cabin Crew: Virgin Australia
Best Lounges: Qantas
Best In-flight Entertainment: Emirates
Best Catering: Qatar Airways
Best Domestic Airline: Qantas
Best Ultra Low-Cost Airline: VietJetAir
Most Improved Airline: Cebu Pacific
Best Low-Cost Airlines: AirAsia / AirAsia X (Asia-Pacific); Air Arabia (Middle-East / Africa); JetBlue (Americas); Wizz (Europe)
Best Long Haul Airlines: Cathay Pacific Airways (Asia-Pacific); Emirates (Middle-East / Africa); Delta Air Lines (Americas); Lufthansa (Europe)