Air New Zealand Soars to the Top, Leaving Qatar Airways in the Dust

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Air New Zealand earned the prestigious title of the World’s Best Airline through exceptional service, passenger-centric innovations, and impressive post-pandemic operations recovery.

Hold on to your first-class champagne flutes, folks, because Air New Zealand has just claimed the crown as the world's best airline!

Airline Ratings, the renowned aviation safety and product rating website, has bestowed this prestigious honour upon our friends from the land of the long white cloud for the seventh time.

The Kiwi airline knocks Qatar Airways off the top spot, moving the Gulf airline into second place after two years at number one.

Air New Zealand also picked up the Best Economy Class award, proving that they excel in providing an unforgettable experience for passengers across all cabin classes.

Air New Zealand was recognized for its passenger service and rapid recovery from COVID disruptions. The airline also won praise for its in-flight innovations, in particular its Skynest economy bunk beds. Set to be rolled out on ultra-long-haul flights starting in September 2024, these sleep pods will be the world’s first three-story, lie-flat bunk beds on a commercial airline.

Greg Foran, CEO of Air New Zealand, praised his staff for their performance over the last year in helping the carrier take the top spot in the global rankings.

“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,” he said. “This award belongs to them for their grit, commitment, and the exceptional service they deliver every day.”

Airline Ratings’ annual Airline Excellence Awards are overseen by a panel of five judges with a combined experience of 180 years in the aviation industry. Carriers worldwide are analyzed on several factors, from their fleets’ average age and profitability to their passenger reviews and product offerings. Editors look for a consistent level of service, innovation, and staff engagement from each major contender.

Qatar Airways Takes Second Place

Qatar Airways, which took Best Airline of the Year in 2021 and 2022, won Best Business Class for the fourth consecutive year, as well as Best Catering and Best Airline in the Middle East. Etihad Airways came in third place, gaining particular recognition for its commitment to sustainable flying, while Asian carriers Korean Air and Singapore Airlines came in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Here are the top 25 airlines in the world in 2023, according to Airline Ratings:

  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. JetBlue
  19. JAL
  20. Vietnam Airlines
  21. Turkish Airlines
  22. Hawaiian Airlines
  23. KLM
  24. Alaska Airlines
  25. United Airlines

Andrew Taylor

For Andrew, travel is so much more than just learning history or taking photos. Rather, the value of travel is witnessing a lifestyle, bonding with locals, and gaining rich cultural experiences. That’s why he founded the Luxury Wanderer; a place to share itineraries, offer advice, swap stories, and foster a like-minded community of curious travellers.

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