Australia’s flag carrier Qantas has been pipped for the world’s most “excellent’ airline by a neighbouring rival in new global awards.
Safety and product-rating website AirlineRatings.com chose its top 10 airlines from among those that earned its seven-star safety rating and demonstrated “leadership in innovation for passenger comfort”.
While Air New Zealand won Airline of the Year for the fifth consecutive time, second-placed Qantas topped Best Domestic Service, Best Lounges and Best Catering.
Fellow Australian carrier Virgin Australia came fourth in the top 10 and won Best Business Class.
AirlineRatings.com developed its seven-star ratings system in consultation with the industry’s governing body, the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
It also judged the airlines whether it was an innovator “trying new things to improve the passenger experience.”
Qantas won Best Catering for the third straight year thanks to its international offering.
“On international flights [Qantas] has introduced an unprecedented four choices of main meal for economy passengers, a doubling in the size of meals, and the ability to order online ahead of the flight,” Airlineratings.com founder Geoffrey Thomas wrote on the Perth Now website.
“Another win for Qantas was Best Lounges, which are an Australian air travel institution,” Thomas said.
“Qantas’ lounges not only provide complimentary food and beverages, but the airline was also a leader in installing showers.”
Thomas said Virgin Australia’s Best Business Class win iwas a result of its new “The Business” suite available on all of its A330s and international Boeing 777s.
Singapore Airlines won Best Cabin Crew and Best First Class.
Scoot, Singapore Airlines’ low-cost subsidiary, won Best Low-Cost Airline Asia.
Etihad Airways won Best Long-Haul Carrier (Middle East/Africa), while Emirates won Best In-Flight Entertainment.
AirlineRatings.com’s top 10 airlines for 2018
1. Air New Zealand
2. Qantas Airways
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Virgin Australia
5. Virgin Atlantic
6. Etihad Airways
7. All Nippon Airways
8. Korean Air
9. Cathay Pacific Airways