Air New Zealand named Airline of the Year 2023 by

Air New Zealand has been honoured as the world's best airline for the seventh time by

The website's 2023 rankings put Aotearoa's national carrier in the top spot followed by Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines and Qantas in the top five. is an Australia-based aviation safety and product rating agency that highlighted Air NZ's innovative Skynest lie-flat economy beds as a key factor in its win this year.

The website's editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas said Air NZ "came out number one in many key areas, although it was a very close scoring for the top five".

"Air NZ's commitment to excellence in all facets of its business starts at the top with outstanding governance and one of the best executive teams in aviation through to a workforce that is delivering consistently to the airline's strategy and customer promise," he said.

Appearing on AM, Thomas told host Ryan Bridge the innovation for economy passengers is what really put the airline ahead.

"The economy cabin is where most of us travel. On Air NZ you have so many options, more than any other carrier in the world, so you can spend to get more and more comfort. Now next year you're going to have the Skynest beds, which is unprecedented."

He put the award-winning level of innovation down to Aotearoa being a small island nation at the bottom of the Pacific. 

"New Zealanders tend to look outside the box," said Thomas.

"They tend to be more innovative, possibly because of the location. The very remote location means you have to do things differently. That covers many industries, not just the airline industry."

The Airline Excellence Awards are judged by a panel of industry experts who assess the safety, innovation, passenger reviews and profitability of airlines.

Air NZ will be much more satisfied with the number one spot than coming in 30th place in the 2022 Skytrax World Airline Awards, which placed Qatar Airways at the top.

Qatar Airways was number one on's 2022 list, with Air NZ coming in second.

Air NZ CEO Greg Foran said this year's win is all down to a remarkable team, while acknowledging the problems customers have been forced to deal with as the air travel industry recovers from COVID-19.

"We owe our success to the dedication and hard work of our 12,000 Air New Zealanders who wake each morning to connect Kiwis with each other and the world. This award belongs to them for their grit, commitment, and the exceptional service they deliver every day," he said. 

"There is no doubt that we have more work to do to tackle customer concerns like wait times, on-time departures and arrivals, lost baggage, and refunds. We want to thank our customers for their patience and support as we work towards delivering the greatest flying experience on Earth."

Also announced on Wednesday, Air NZ was crowned the "most attractive" employer in the country, also for the seventh time, according to Randstad research

Foran put that down to the company being "focused on building sustainable jobs and a great culture… where people can be themselves and thrive".'s top 25 airlines for 2023:

  1. Air New Zealand
  2. Qatar Airways
  3. Etihad Airways
  4. Korean Air
  5. Singapore Airlines
  6. Qantas
  7. Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic
  8. EVA Air
  9. Cathay Pacific Airways
  10. Emirates
  11. Lufthansa / Swiss
  12. SAS
  13. TAP Portugal
  14. All Nippon Airways
  15. Delta Air Lines
  16. Air Canada
  17. British Airways
  18. Jet Blue
  19. JAL
  20. Vietnam Airlines
  21. Turkish Airlines
  22. Hawaiian
  23. KLM
  24. Alaska Airlines
  25. United Airlines.

Randstad most attractive employers 2023:

  1. Air New Zealand
  2. New Zealand Customs Service
  3. Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
  4. Department of Conservation
  5. WSP
  6. Super Retail Group
  7. ANZ
  8. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
  9. Statistics New Zealand
  10. Ara Institute
  11. Deloitte
  12. Green Cross Health
  13. ASB
  14. Ministry of Health
  15. Oji Fibre Solutions
  16. Coca-Cola Amatil
  17. Victoria University of Wellington
  18. IBM
  19. University of Auckland
  20. St John New Zealand.