Air New Zealand has edged past Singapore Airlines to be ranked as the world’s best airline by 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.

Singapore Airlines was ranked second and awarded the best first class (Courtesy

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.

Ratings Criteria 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.

Find out about the world’s cheapest cities in 2019 here.

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. 

Qantas was among the top 5 airlines and recognized for its best airport lounges (Courtesy

Top 20 Airlines for 2020

The top 20 airlines are ranked as follows.

  1. Air New Zealand
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. Qantas
  5. Cathay Pacific
  6. Emirates
  7. Virgin Atlantic
  8. EVA Air
  9. Qatar Airways
  10. Virgin Australia
  11. Lufthansa
  12. Finnair
  13. Japan Airlines
  14. KLM
  15. Korean Airlines
  16. Hawaiian Airlines
  17. British Airways
  18. Alaska Airlines
  19. Delta Air Lines
  20. 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

The award-winning Qsuites of Qatar Airlines (Courtesy

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)

Which cities are the safest in the world? Find out here.

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