10 Best Airlines in the World Revealed: Air New Zealand No. 1 on Overall Service
- Annual Airline Excellence and Top 10 awards announced by AirlineRatings
- Air New Zealand, Qantas and Singapore Airlines named top three airlines
- Etihad wins best first class and Singapore Airlines scoops best economy
Air New Zealand has been crowned best airline in the world for the fourth consecutive year, with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic also rated in the top 10 in the global rankings.
Etihad's opulent suites secured the carrier the accolade for best first-class cabin but for economy cabins, Singapore Airlines scooped the top prize.
Other winners of the annual Airline Excellence and Top 10 awards include Virgin Australia, which took the title for best business cabin and Emirates was praised for offering the best in-flight experience.
Air New Zealand was named best airline in the world for the fourth consecutive year
The airline also took the top gong for best premium economy class for the third time in a year
THE TOP 10 AIRLINES IN THE WORLD
1. Air New Zealand
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Cathay Pacific
5. Virgin Atlantic/ Virgin Australia
6. British Airways
7. Etihad Airways
8. All Nippon Airways
9. Eva Air
The 2017 awards were generated by global product and safety website airlineratings.com, which ranked the top airlines overall, best cabins of each class and highlighted the best entertainment, catering and cabin crew worldwide.To be named one of the top ten airlines in the world, carriers have to show leading innovations in passenger comfort and must have achieved a seven-star safety status.
Air New Zealand was honoured for the fourth year due to its in-flight innovations, financial performance and environmental leadership and commitment to a young fleet, according to the Australia-based website.
AirlineRatings.com editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas said: 'In our objective analysis Air New Zealand came out number one in virtually all of our audit criteria, which is an exceptional performance.'
The airline also took the top gong for best premium economy class for the third time, in a year which has seen investments in a streamlined and refurbished fleet, a multi-million dollar lounge redevelopment and three new international routes.
Qantas was rated the second best airline in the world
Australian airline Qantas scooped the second prize leaping up from fourth place last year.
The airline was praised for its financial turnaround and is set to take delivery of its first Boeing 787s in 2017. The lie-flat beds on all of its A330s have ensured a high customer approval rating.
Aviation stalwart Singapore Airlines took third place after introducing its new premium economy, revamped business class and the new A350, this past year. It was also awarded a prize for best economy offering.
The Hong Kong flag carrier, Cathay Pacific, held the fourth spot this year while Virgin Atlantic/ Virgin Australia moved three places higher, taking the number five slot. Virgin Australia has introduced its new business class while Virgin Atlantic reintroduced a number of 787s.
Singapore Airlines was crowned the best economy cabin in the world
The airline also came third overall in the annual ratings by airlineratings.com
British Airways has stormed into the top 10 at number six following the introduction of its 787s and A380s while rolling out cabin enhancements.
A pioneer of luxury, Middle Eastern carrier Etihad Airways was named the seventh best airline in the world as it launches new aircraft 777X and increased its fleet of 787s. It also has 65 A350s on order.
While flyers can opt for The Residence suite, a three bedroom 'penthouse in the sky' with its own butler and chef for approximately $38,000 (£26,000), the airline's first-class offering is also making waves. Etihad won the world's best first class award.
Etihad took the gong for the world's best first class cabin
Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways scored eighth place following the launch of its 777x, while Taiwanese airline Eva Air took the ninth spot.
Germany's largest airline Lufthansa held the number ten spot again this year.
Airlineratings.com developed its seven-star ratings system after two years of evaluation and the system is now endorsed by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Airline of the year: Air New Zealand
Best first class: Etihad Airways
Best business class: Virgin Australia
Best premium economy: Air New Zealand
Best economy: Singapore Airlines
Best cabin crew: Virgin Group (Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America)
Best catering: Qantas
Best lounges: Qantas
Best inflight entertainment: Emirates
Best domestic class: Qantas
Best long haul airline: Etihad (Middle East/Africa); Singapore Airlines (Asia Pacific); Virgin Atlantic (Europe); Delta Airlines (The Americas)
Best low cost airline: Virgin America (The Americas); Scoot (Asia Pacific); Kululu (Africa/Middle East) and Norwegian (Europe)