Australian and Asian carriers have dominated the latest airline ranking awards, with Singapore Airlines taking first place for its sterling safety and innovation standards.
The latest Airline Excellence Awards, conducted by Perth’s airlineratings.com, also recognised Qantas, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand.
Other major winners were Qatar Airways, Emirates, Kuala Lumpur based AirAsia and AirAsia X Korean Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and VietJetAir.com.
To be named in the top 10, airlines must achieve a seven-star safety rating and demonstrate leadership in innovation for passenger comfort.
Here is the full list of winners:
Singapore Airlines is honoured for the first time for its market leadership in inflight service, new aircraft types such as the A350 and 787-10, revamped interiors and the launch of the non-stop Singapore to New York service, as well as operational safety.
Air New Zealand won best premium economy and best Pacific airline, while Qatar Airways picked up best catering and best business class.
Qantas won best domestic airline service and the coveted best lounges title. Virgin Australia was voted as having the best cabin crew, Emirates took out best airline Middle East/Africa and best in-flight entertainment.
QantasLink picked up best regional airline and Philippine Airlines won most improved airline. Korean Air won best economy.
Monash University professor Greg Bamber, who has researched airline performance in Australia and overseas for more than 15 years, said people needed to be aware that there were different types of airline awards that all had their own criteria.
“It’s surprising when you compare these rankings to the Skytrax ratings as these highlight Australian carriers with no mention of North American carriers,” Professor Bamber said.
“I’m also surprised that US-based Southwest Airlines are not mentioned in the best low-cost airlines as they are an excellent carrier in terms of their airline culture, cost and service.”
Airline Intelligence Research managing director and former Qantas chief economist Dr Tony Webber said it didn’t surprise him that Singapore Airlines took out first place.
“Singapore Airlines are a brilliant airline because they pride themselves on innovation and excellent cabin service,” Dr Webber told The New Daily.
“Australia has some of the best airlines in the world in terms of safety, service and efficiency, so it doesn’t surprise me at all that we fared so well,” he said.