New airline of the year

Singapore Airlines has knocked Air New Zealand off its perch as’s airline of the year.

Air New Zealand has had top honours for the past five years, but Singapore Airlines revamped interiors, new aircraft, while its non-stop route from Singapore to New York has seen the airline shoot to the top of the AirlineRatings’ charts.

Little wonder, when you see Singapore Airlines’ first class offerings.

The airline is being honoured for the first time for its market leadership in flight service, fancy new aircraft (including the A350 and 787-10), revamped interiors, its new non-stop Singapore to New York service as well as its operational safety.

But it’s not just its impressive seat offerings that make the airline the new top dog in the sky. It’s also being hailed for its market leadership in flight service and operational safety.

The Airline Excellence Awards are overseen by seven editors with over 200 years’ combined industry experience. The judges review major safety and government audits, and rate airlines on such factors as fleet age, passenger reviews, profitability, investment rating, product offerings and staff relations.

“In our objective analysis, Singapore Airlines came out number one in many of our audit criteria, which is a great performance,” said editor-in-chief, Geoffrey Thomas.

“One of the standouts in the industry for decades, it has returned to its best with a new product, new aircraft and new innovative flights such as the Singapore-New York non-stop. Quite simply, the airline is the Gold Standard.

“For years, Singapore Airlines has been the gold standard and now it is back to its best, leading in passenger innovations and new state-of-the-art aircraft models.

“The editors said that the competition for top spot was tight with Air New Zealand, Qantas Airways and Qatar Airways just being nudged out.”

Air New Zealand still took home the award for best premium economy and best airline Pacific.

Qantas went home with the best Domestic Airline Service and Best Lounges awards, and Virgin took out best cabin crew. QantasLink picked up Best Regional Airline.

Here’s the full list of winners:

  • Best Premium Economy: Air New Zealand
  • Best Airline (Pacific): Air New Zealand
  • Best Catering: Qatar Airways
  • Best Business Class: Qatar Airways
  • Best Domestic Service: Qantas
  • Best Lounges: Qantas
  • Best First Class: Singapore Airlines
  • Best Economy: Korean Air
  • Best Cabin Crew: Virgin Australia
  • Best Airline (Middle East/Africa): Emirates
  • Best In-flight Entertainment: Emirates
  • Best Regional Airline: Qantas
  • Most Improved Airline: Philippine Airlines
  • Best Low-Cost airline: VietJetAir
  • Excellence in Long Haul travel: Delta Air Lines (Americas), Lufthansa (Europe), Emirates (Middle-East/Africa) Eva Air (Asia) and Air New Zealand (Pacific.)
  • Best Low-Cost Airline: Westjet (Americas), Wizz (Europe) and AirAsia / AirAsia X (Asia/Pacific).


Do you agree with these rankings? Which is your favourite airline? Would awards such as these influence your next flight choice?

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Is this the world’s worst airline?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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