(Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash)
Are you curious which the best airlines in the world are these days?
If you know the top rated carriers you can choose to book with them next time you fly and perhaps have a greater airline experience than usual.
We have collected the most recent data from various surveys and rankings to show you so that you can make an informed decision when booking your next flight.
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Now, let’s see which airlines are worth your attention.
According to Forbes and Airline Ratings, these were the 20 top-ranked airlines last year:
- 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
It’s no surprise that Air New Zealand is the leader since it’s had the top spot for 6 years in a row. Only in 2019, it was surpassed by Singapore Airlines, which is now second.
Singapore Airlines is a strong contestant thanks to its new first-class suites and great catering and wine programs.
Emirates have similarly amazing suites as well as new business-class seating - and so do Qatar Airways.
Since the list has been expanded to 20 instead of just 10 places, you can find airlines based in the Americas and Europe on it now.
A perhaps surprising inclusion is Cathay Pacific, which has managed to enter the list despite the hurdles it had to face due to social unrest in its Hong Kong hub.
Virgin Atlantic secured spot number 7 thanks to the launch of new routes and a new business-class cabin.
Delta is also here, thanks to its incredible suites in business class and its rapidly expanding list of partners. However, it barely made the list, perhaps because of the complexities of running one of the world’s largest aviation operations.
In addition to the overall ranking, there are specific categories, in which the airlines compete. Here are the latest winners, according to AirlineRatings.com.
- Best first class: Singapore Airlines (thanks to its new first-class suites)
- Best business class: Qatar Airways (thanks to its outstanding performance that sets a standard for other airlines)
- Best premium economy: Air New Zealand (thanks to its comfortable seats and amazing amenities)
- Best economy class: Virgin Australia (thanks to spacious cabins for long-haul distances)
- Best cabin crew: Virgin Australia again, for the second year in a row
- Best catering: Qatar Airways (thanks to its dine-on-demand service, for the second year in a row)
- Best lounges: Qantas Airways
- Best in-flight entertainment: Emirates (one of the pioneers of IFE and one of the first to install seatback videos in economy)
- Domestic airline of the year: Qantas
- Most improved airline: Cebu Pacific (thanks to its new generation fuel-efficient aircraft)
- Best ultra-low-cost carrier: VietJet (thanks to its smart business plan that brings affordable travel to millions of passengers)
- Best long-haul airline: Lufthansa (Europe), Emirates (Middle East/Africa), Cathay Pacific (Asia) and Delta (Americas)
- Best low-cost airline: Wizz Air (Europe), JetBlue (Americas), Air Asia/AirAsia X (Asia/Pacific) and Air Arabia (Middle East/Africa)
These are officially the best airlines in the world in 2020.
However, on various reputable websites, ranking slightly varies. You can see most of the names there as well, but also some additional ones, such as:
- La Compagnie
- Hainan Airlines
- Thai Airways
- Garuda Indonesia
- Swiss International Air Lines
- China Southern Airlines
- Austrian Airlines
- Bangkok Airways
- Turkish Airlines
- Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras
- Norwegian Air
- United Airlines
What’s more, according to eDreams, Aegean Airlines is among the best in the category “Best value for money”, while Luxair is both among those “with the best check-in experience” and “best steward service”.
In 2019, among the top 10 airlines in the world (apart from some already mentioned) you could see American Airlines, Aeromexico, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, LATAM Airlines and WestJet.
Now you know which is the No 1 airline in the world according to the latest ranking - Air New Zealand. The truth is, the best airlines in the world are many and often switching places.
What’s more important, you are now well aware which airline will suit your needs and which one to book for the ultimate travel experience.
Hopefully, we will all be able to travel more soon and maybe even come up with our own airline awards for 2021.
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