After five years of domination Air NZ has been beaten by Singapore Airlines for the title of Airline of the Year at the annual awards of the same name.
Singapore Airlines emphasis on customer service was key to its win, as well as its fleet modernisation with the addition of A350's and 787-10's and refurbishment and redesign of the cabins in its current aircraft. The airline also launched the world's longest flight between Singapore and New York earlier this year.
The AirlineRatings.com awards are judged by seven aviation editors who have 12 key criteria that include fleet age, passenger reviews, profitability, product offerings, and staff relations.
Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas said the battle for the title was particularly close this year.
"The editors said that the competition for top spot was tight with Air New Zealand, Qantas Airways and Qatar Airways just being nudged out," said Mr Thomas.
Air NZ didn't leave completely empty handed however. Its popular premium economy product won its category as it has for the last two years.
Here's the list of top ten airlines:
- Singapore Airlines
- Air New Zealand
- Qatar Airways
- Virgin Australia
- All Nippon Airways
- EVA Air
- Cathay Pacific Airways
- Japan Airlines
Winners by category:
- Airline of 2019: Singapore Airlines
- Best First Class: Singapore Airlines
- Best Business Class: Qatar
- Best Premium Economy: Air New Zealand
- Best Economy Class: Korean Air
- Best low cost airline Asia/Pacific: Air Asia
- Most Improved Airline: Philippine Airlines
- Best Inflight Catering: Qatar
- Best Long Haul American Airline: Delta
- Best Long Haul Middle Eastern Airline: Emirates
- Best Long Haul Asian Airline: Eva Air
- Best Long Haul Pacific Airline: Air New Zealand
- Best Long Haul European Airline: Lufthansa
- Best Inflight Entertainment: Emirates
- Best Cabin Crew: Virgin Australia