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Top Ten Airlines Award: Air New Zealand has been crowned best airline in the world

Annual Airline Excellence and Top 10 awards announced by AirlineRatings; Etihad wins best ‘first class’ cabin and Singapore Airlines ranks No1 for economy seating


Air New Zealand has named the Airline of the Year 2017 for the fourth time in a row.  The flagship carrier has cemented its fame as one of the world’s Top Ten airlines for the fourth year in a row.

The 2017‘s ranking includes: Air New Zealand followed by Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Etihad Airways, All Nippon Airways, Eva Air and Lufthansa.


Air New Zealand

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The Top Ten

 1. Air New Zealand

2. Qantas

3. Singapore Airlines

4. Cathay Pacific

5. Virgin Atlantic/ Virgin Australia

6. British Airways

7. Etihad Airways

8. All Nippon Airways

9. Eva Air

10. Lufthansa



“Quite simply Air New Zealand is an airline of first choice. And given the airline’s location and the country’s size, its performance is even more remarkable, ” said editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas in a statement.

While Air New Zealand taks it all,  Etihad wins best ‘first class’ cabin and Singapore Airlines ranks No one for economy seating.

The prestige to place was given for record-breaking financial performance, in-flight innovations, safety record, environmental leadership and staff.

Editor-in-Chief:  “we are looking for leadership and airlines that innovate to make a real difference to the passenger experience particularly in economy class.”

“In our evaluation we will also consider the considerable audited website feedback from passengers on our website.”




Airline Excellence Award 

 Airline of the year 2017: Air New Zealand

Best first class: Etihad Airways

Best business class: Virgin Australia

Best premium economy: Air New Zealand

Best economy: Singapore Airlines

Best catering: Qantas

Best inflight entertainment: Emirates

Best domestic class: Qantas

Best cabin crew: Virgin Group (Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America)

Best lounges: Qantas

Best long distance airline travel: 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)


Mr Thomas noted a big mover this year was Australia’s Qantas which jumped up to 2nd spot from 4th while Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic went from 7th up to 5th.

Qantas produced a stunning financial turnaround in 2016 and will take delivery of its first Boeing 787s in 2017.
Its customer approval rating is at an all-time high and it continues to innovate with lie-flat beds on all its A330s that operate domestic and regional international flights.

Singapore Airlines which took 3rd position is always at the forefront of airline awards and introduced its new premium economy, revamped business class and the new A350 over the last 12 months.



Cathay Pacific Airways held number 4 spot and is always in the winner’s circle. It has won numerous awards from including Best Business Class in 2013 and 2015 and Best Asia/Pacific Airline for 2016.

Moving into 5th spot are two of the Virgin Group airlines – Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic. Both in their own markets have been taking giant strides. Virgin Australia has introduced its new business class and has completed its makeover from a low-cost carrier to a new world airline while Virgin Atlantic has introduced 787s and ordered A350s.

In 6th position British Airways continues the introduction of 787s and A380s while rolling out cabin enhancements.


Singapore Airlines First Class


Taking 7th position Etihad Airways continues its leading role in global aviation with the world’s best First Class while launching new aircraft such as the 777X. It is also proceeding with its aggressive fleet roll out with 10 787s in service and 65 on order. The airline also has 65 A350s on order.

In 8th position All Nippon Airways continues its dominance of Japanese aviation. It is the leading operators of the Boeing 787 and a launch customer for the 777X. The airline is at the forefront of cabin innovation.

Taking out 9th spot EVA Air has always been the leader in Taiwanese aviation and has been a leader in introducing cabin innovation such as premium economy in 1992.

At number 10 Germany’s Lufthansa is a byword for operational excellence and professionalism and one of the world’s most respected airlines.

‘’Whether number 1 or number 10 these airlines are the best of the best – the elite in aviation, ” said Mr Thomas. “They are the trendsetters and the benchmark by which all others are judged.”




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