Hey you, busy business traveler: Is your favorite airline among the best in the world? If you fly predominantly in the U.S., then the answer is no.
This week in Paris, air travel research firm Skytrax unveiled its annual World Airline Awards, ranking the top 100. “Travellers from across the globe take part each year in the world’s largest airline passenger satisfaction survey to decide the award winners,” Skytrax says.
This year’s top airline: Doha-based Qatar Airways. It’s the third time in five years that the carrier has landed in the top award category.
If you’re looking for U.S.-based airlines, you’ll have to skim down to No. 26 on the list to find Virgin America. The carrier won three notable awards:
- Best Airline in North America
- Best Low-Cost Airline in North America
- Best Airline Staff in North America
Curiously, ranking higher than Virgin America this year is Malaysia Airlines. This, you should recall, is the airline that had an entire flight — with 239 passengers on board — go missing in March 2014. Last year, Malaysia Airlines ranked even higher, at No. 18.
. Qatar Airways
Last year’s ranking: 2
Skytrax says: Qatar Airways also achieved success in the Best Business Class Seat category finishing in the top spot for the first time. It is probably no coincidence that this award has coincided with the introduction of the A380 and A350 aircraft into the QR fleet – survey respondents indicated that these latest seating designs have set new benchmark standards of comfort, space and privacy.
2. Singapore Airlines
Last year’s ranking: 3
Skytrax says: The Changi based flag carrier finished second in the global survey ranking edging out regional rival (and 2014 winner) Cathay Pacific Airways and ANA All Nippon Airways in the Asia region category. Singapore Airlines also achieved success at the front end of the aircraft with highly sought after World’s Best Business Class leading Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific in second and third place.
3. Cathay Pacific Airways
Last year’s ranking: 1
Skytrax says: Cathay Pacific achieved success by winning the Best Airline Transpacific for the third time at the 2015 Skytrax World Airline Awards in Paris. This was the airlines third success in this category having previously triumphed in 2011 and 2013. South Korea’s Asiana Airlines secured second position, with ANA All Nippon Airways achieving third place.
4. Turkish Airlines
Last year’s ranking: 5
Skytrax says: Turkish Airlines also achieved considerable success in the Business Class cabin winning the top awards for World’s Best Business Class Lounge and Best Business Class Lounge Dining. The flagship lounge in Istanbul is amongst the largest in the world – capable of accommodating 1000 customers and hosts several live cooking stations serving the best of local and International dishes, design by catering company Do&Co.
Last year’s ranking: 4
Skytrax says: Emirates retained their stranglehold on the World’s Best Inflight Entertainment awards at the 2015 Skytrax World Airline Awards in Paris. Finishing ahead of Qatar Airways in second place and Singapore Airlines in third, EK continues to have the edge over its closest global competitors despite continued hardware and programming improvements by carriers across the industry.
Emirates secured the award for Best First Class Comfort Amenities ahead of local rival Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines. At the top-end of the industry this is a very competitive category – particularly when assessing the quality levels between the top-5 airlines.
6. Etihad Airways
Last year’s ranking: 9
Skytrax says: With a vast array of new product and service concepts introduced in the last 6-months it is perhaps no surprise that Etihad have once again achieved significant success at the front end of the aircraft. Customers are clearly impressed by the WOW factor of the latest Etihad First Class innovations, which sit alongside an already competitive range of cabin products.
7. ANA All Nippon Airways
Last year’s ranking: 6
Skytrax says: The carrier was named as having the World’s Best Airport Services which recognises frontline airport staff – from check-in through to the gate, arrival, transfer and lounge. EVA Air and Garuda Indonesia finished strongly in second and third position in the Airport Services category.
8. Garuda Indonesia
Last year’s ranking: 7
Skytrax says: Indonesian flag carrier Garuda secured the prize for the World’s Best Cabin Staff for the second consecutive year at the Skytrax World Airline Awards in Paris. This is the first time an airline has managed to retain the award and is further recognition of the remarkable turnaround for the airline. Previous winner Asiana Airlines secured second position, with the 2015 Best Airline in Asia Singapore Airlines achieving third.
9. EVA Air
Last year’s ranking: 12
Skytrax says: EVA Air were announced as the world’s cleanest airline at the 2015 Skytrax World Airline Awards with the prize for World’s Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness – this was ahead of Singapore Airlines in second position and previous winner ANA All Nippon Airways in third. Customers also voted EVA into the top-10 globally ranked airlines for the first time with a ninth place finish this year.
10. Qantas Airways
Last year’s ranking: 11
Skytrax says: Australia’s Qantas Airways had a successful year at the 2015 Skytrax World Airline Awards winning the Best Airline in Australia/Pacific award for the third consecutive year. Qantas also secured another top prize for the Best Business Class Comfort Amenities ahead of Qatar Airways and China’s Hainan Airlines with customers recognising the significant product upgrades made by QF in the last 2-years.