Singapore Airlines, my personal favorite airline, has been named the world’s best airline of 2018 by SkyTrax Global Airline Awards. They are followed by Qatar Airways as No2 and ANA All Nippon Air (3.). StarAlliance again dominates the charts with 5 of the top ten belonging to the alliance. As always, no US carrier is found near the top!
SkyTrax conducts the award survey every year and while they are called the “Oscars of the Airline Industry”, they follow a much more transparent process than in Hollywood: More than 20 million entries from travelers in over 100 countries participated and provided feedback on 335 airlines. This is by far the widest and deepest survey conducted in travel every year, despite the griping from some bloggers. It provides an important and independent data point in selecting your airline for travel – which is why I feature the SkyTrax rating in my airline overviews and feature the annual awards.
Singapore Airlines (SQ) is the winner in 2018 as the best airline, to no ones surprise. They have been in the top 10 for the last 9 years and are widely acclaimed by travelers and industry experts. SQ also win for the Best First Class and Best First Class Seat! I couldn’t agree more, Singapore Airlines is a joy to fly in any cabin!
Qatar Airways wins the second spot after being Number 1 last year. They have also been in the top 10 for 9 years and share accolades as a premium carrier. They also collected awards for Best First Class Lounge, Best Business Class and best Business Class Seat. I have never flown them and can’t wait to do so!
ANA All Nippon Air is rated as the world’s third best airline and I wholeheartedly agree with that. I have flown them many times and enjoy the precise service onboard and on the ground as well as the great long-haul business class product!
You can see the remaining Top 10 for 2018 and the last few years below:
Notably, Cathay Pacific is continuing its steady decline, dropping from first place in 2014 to 6th in 2018. This reflects my own poor recent experience in Cathay’s Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins.
Etihad Airways has dropped from the Top 10 for the first time in recent years. The carrier has been in significant financial troubles and cutting back service, which seems to contribute to this declining customer experience. I personally enjoyed my Etihad Business Class trip, but it was not as great as many travel bloggers described it! Thai Airways, another of my favorite StarAlliance carriers returns to the Top 10 for the first time since 2012.
Other notable mentions go to AirAsia as the World’s Best Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) for the 10th year in a row and to Norwegian Air as the best long-haul LCC. AirAsia also won the Best Premium Cabin award for LCCs.
Air Canada wins the award as Best Airline in North America (in 30. Place), followed by Delta Air Lines (37.), Alaska Air (38.), jetBlue (42.), American Airlines (71) and United (88). Air travel in the United States continues to be a sad affair!
Recent winner of a 4-star rating, Philippine Airlines (PAL), finds itself in spot 49. It appears the 4-star rating was given more on the promise of improvement than on the experience customers have today. PAL has a long way to go to the top!
You can access SkyTrax’ World’s Top 100 Airlines to find your home airline, as well as regional and other specific awardsI
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