Air New Zealand Voted Top Airline in the World Again

Nov 2, 2017

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The eastern hemisphere rules the world once again when it comes to airlines, and Air New Zealand is the best of the best for the fifth year running, according to the 2018 rankings from

“This award is testament to the huge effort from all of our people to deliver a world class Kiwi experience on the ground and in the air,” Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon told the site.

In every category considered, including safety, passenger feedback, the age of the fleet, sound financials, relations among the staff, and the products on offer, New Zealand blew away the competition, either coming in first or sharing the top spot. That earned it the site’s Airline Excellence Award yet again.

“In our objective analysis Air New Zealand came out number one in virtually all of our audit criteria, which is an exceptional performance,” editor in chief Geoffrey Thomas said in a press release.

The panel also looked into the ways in which the airlines were trying to improve the passenger experience with new and improved offerings, programs and services.

AirlineRatings is based in Perth, Australia, and its includes a judging panel of veteran aviation journalists.

Winners in specific categories included Singapore Airlines for best first class and cabin service; Virgin Australia for business class; Korean Air for economy; Canada’s WestJet for low-fare Americas-based airline; Qantas for in-flight catering and lounges; Emirates for in-flight entertainment; and Air Canada for long-haul flights in the Americas. The site singled out Virgin Australia’s business-class suite, “which can be argued is more first class than business class”; the 33-to-34-inch economy class seat pitch on Korean’s A380s, 777s and 787s; and Singapore’s famously well-trained cabin crew.

AirlineRatings simultaneously released an overall top 10 list of worldwide airlines, with No. 1 going to Air New Zealand, followed in order by Qantas, Singapore, Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Etihad Airways, All Nippon Airways, Korean Air, Cathay Pacific Airways and Japan Airlines.

“Whether No. 1 or No. 10, these airlines are the best of the best — the elite in aviation,” the judges said in a press release. “They are the trendsetters and the benchmark by which all others are judged.”

Not a single US carrier made the cut for the 2018 rankings, but The Points Guy crowned Alaska Airlines as best domestic airline in February 2017.

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