The Best Airlines In The World

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Decades ago, flying was an incredible privilege. Travelers would don their sharpest duds and dine on real, non-plastic glassware. Boarding the plane meant settling into cushy—and dare we say it: spacious—seats for a few hours of relaxation, bubbly, and spectacular views of the world 30,000 feet below.

The World’s Best airlines, as selected by our readers, are fighting to bring back the Golden Age of air travel. Instead of cutting corners (read: leg room) they’re rolling out 82-inch-long beds fitted with natural mattresses and custom Italian linens.  Instead of charging for that depressing bag of salted peanuts, they’re presenting a la carte menus designed by Michelin-starred chefs. Even in economy, passengers enjoy in-flight entertainment on HD-enabled screens while juicing up their devices via personal USB chargers.

This year, 39 airlines were ranked based on cabin comfort, in-flight service, customer service, value, and food. No one was surprised to see Singapore Airlines in the No. 1 international spot this year. That’s where it always is. In fact, Asia-based airlines repeatedly get high scores on our annual survey, and there are five in this year’s top 10. But the big story is the resurgence of carriers from Down Under.

Air New Zealand (the quirky carrier with innovative features like the convertible Sky Couch, viral safety videos starring icons like Richard Simmons, and amenity kits stuffed with “Beware, I sleep walk,” eye masks) leapt five spots since last year. And for the first time since 2007, Qantas appeared on our list.

As our World’s Best Airlines prove, relatively small creature comforts—in-flight Wi-Fi, seats that recline without disturbing neighbors—are being noticed by flyers. Plus, at the end of the day, genuine and helpful customer service, both on the ground and in the air, is crucial to getting top customer scores.

Competition for your miles is more rigorous than ever before, and these airlines are out to prove that they can, and will, give you something to look forward to on your next long-haul flight. 

The Best Airlines in Africa

1 South African Airways
2 Air Seychelles
3 Air Mauritius
4 Ethiopian Airlines
5 Kenya Airways
6 TAAG Angola Airlines
7 Kulula
8 Mango
9 Royal Air Maroc
10 Air Austral

The Best Airlines in Asia

1 Singapore Airlines
2 Cathay Pacific
3 ANA All Nippon Airways
4 EVA Air
5 Garuda Indonesia
6 Hainan Airlines
7 Thai Airways
8 Asiana Airlines
9 Bangkok Airways
10 Japan Airlines

The Best Airlines in Australia/Pacific

1 Qantas Airways
2 Air New Zealand
3 Virgin Australia
4 Jetstar Airways
5 Fiji Airways
6 Tiger Airways (Australia)
7 Air Tahiti Nui
8 AirCalin
9 Air Vanuatu
10 Solomon Airlines

The Best Airlines in China

1 Hainan Airlines
2 China Southern
3 China Eastern
4 Air China
5 Juneyao Airlines
6 Tianjin Airlines
7 Shenzhen Airlines
8 Xiamen Airlines
9 Spring Airlines
10 Sichuan Airlines

The Best Airlines in C Asia / India

1 Air Astana
2 Indigo
3 SriLankan Airlines
4 Azerbaijan Airlines
5 Jet Airways
6 SpiceJet
7 Air India
8 Uzbekistan Airways
9 Vistara
10 GoAir

The Best Airlines in Europe

1 Turkish Airlines
2 Lufthansa
3 Air France
4 Swiss Int'l Air Lines
5 Austrian
7 British Airways
8 Finnair
9 Virgin Atlantic
10 Norwegian

The Best Airlines in the Middle East

1 Emirates
2 Qatar Airways
3 Etihad Airways
4 Oman Air
5 Gulf Air
6 Saudi Arabian Airlines
7 Royal Jordanian
8 flyDubai
9 Middle East Airlines
10 Air Arabia

The Best Airlines in North America

1 Virgin America
2 Air Canada
3 Delta Air Lines
4 Porter Airlines
5 WestJet
6 jetBlue Airways
7 Alaska Airlines
8 Southwest Airlines
9 United Airlines
10 Hawaiian Airlines

The Best Airlines in C America/Caribbean

1 Copa Airlines
2 Caribbean Airlines
3 Air Caraibes
5 Bahamasair
6 Veca Airlines
7 interCaribbean
8 Cayman Airways
9 Cubana
10 Insel Air

The Best Airlines in South America

1 LAN Airlines
2 Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras
3 Avianca
4 TAM Airlines
5 Sky Airline
6 Aerolineas Argentinas
7 Easyfly
8 Gol
9 Austral Líneas Aéreas
10 VivaColombia

The Best Airlines in Southern Europe

1 Turkish Airlines
2 Aegean Airlines
3 Iberia
4 Alitalia
5 Air Nostrum (Iberia Regional)
6 Air Malta
7 Vueling Airlines
8 SunExpress
9 Pegasus Airlines
10 Air Europa

The Best Airlines in Northern Europe

1 Finnair
2 Norwegian
3 SAS Scandinavian
4 Icelandair
5 airBaltic
6 WOW Air
8 TUIfly Nordic
9 Corsair International

The Best Airlines in Western Europe

1 Lufthansa
2 Air France
3 Swiss Int'l Air Lines
4 Austrian
6 British Airways
7 Virgin Atlantic
8 easyJet
9 Aer Lingus
10 Brussels Airlines

The Best Airlines in Eastern Europe

1 Aeroflot Russian Airlines
2 LOT Polish
3 S7 Airlines
4 Croatia Airlines
5 CSA Czech Airlines
6 Wizz Air
7 Air Serbia
8 Adria Airways
9 Tarom

The World Airline Awards

Skytrax World Airline Awards are coveted Quality accolades for the world airline industry. Travellers from across the globe take part each year in the world’s largest airline passenger satisfaction survey to decide the award winners. The World Airline Awards are a global benchmark of airline excellence, and widely known as the Passengers Choice awards.

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