The aviation industry has been through the wringer over these past couple of years. Now that air travel has returned with an enthusiastic bang, however, the industry is now struggling to handle the influx of travellers while managing staff shortages, the rise in jet fuel, and other disruptive issues. 

Regardless, the Australian airline safety and product rating review website AirlineRatings.com has released its annual round-up of the top 20 World’s Best Airlines this Friday. 

So, who came up on top? 

The results are in… 

For the second year in a row, Qatar Airways has been named the world’s best airline for 2022. 

The website stated that the carrier’s commitment to operating critical long-haul services regardless of the pandemic over the last 30 months was instrumental to it retaining the top spot. The Doha-based carrier was also praised for its “innovation, product, and industry leadership.” 

AirlineRatings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffery Thomas, commented that CEO Akbar Al Baker’s “drive for perfection has led to many improvements in aircraft” and that travellers across the globe have benefited from Qatar Airways’ “pursuit of excellence”. 

The fact that Qatar Airways was the first to complete IATA’s IOSA safety audit and the first to be entirely COVID audited and compliant by both AirlineRatings and Skytrax was also commended by Thomas. 

Qatar Airways also won the Excellence in ‘Long Haul – Middle East/Africa’ award and ‘Best Business Class’.

Qatar Airways' Qsuite
Qatar Airways’ business-class seats are considered by aviation fanatics across the globe as one of the best around. | © Alex Miller

Thomas was full of praise, stating that AirlineRatings.com judges rated Qatar’s Qsuite as “the best overall business-class product they had seen”.

Akbar Al Baker commented on the carrier’s achievements:

“Winning these awards are another ringing endorsement of everything that we stand for as an airline as Qatar Airways is fully committed to providing an unrivaled customer experience.”

Air New Zealand sits in the number 2 spot out of the top twenty. The flag carrier also won ‘Best Airline in the Pacific’, ‘Best Premium Economy’, and ‘Best Economy’. The airline was also found to be the best option for long-haul travel in the Pacific region.

Thomas praised the Star Alliance carrier for being able to set the standard for airline excellence over the past 15 years. He went on to discuss its Premium Economy option and the reason why the carrier won the award:

“Its Premium Economy is just superb and the benchmark in the industry and without doubt the best value in the sky.” 

Air New Zealand premium economy
Air New Zealand’s Premium Economy is one of the best around. Particularly as the premium economy is one of the industry’s most profitable products, Air New Zealand is excelling in this field. | © Bret Hartman / Air New Zealand

What does AirlineRatings.com take into consideration?

The site has been conducting these rankings for a long while…they know their stuff. But what exactly do they take into account? 

The site’s Airline Excellence Awards honour the ‘best’ airlines. How the best is decided requires the input of global editors with over 100 years of industry experience using an objective value-based methodology. 

Criteria include safety and product ratings, passenger reviews, profitability, adaptability, fleet age, product offerings, and environmental commitment. 

The remainder of the top 5

UAE carrier Etihad Airways sits at number three. It was also awarded ‘Environmental Airline of the Year’ for its impressive leadership in its Boeing 787 Greenliner programme. Thomas considered their efforts as a “benchmark” commitment to cutting harmful emissions.

Etihad Airways greenliner
Etihad Airways’ Greenlander aircraft leads the carrier’s projects and initiatives towards its target of net-zero emissions by 2050. | © Thomas Pallini/Insider

Korean Air, the largest airline and flag carrier in South Korea based on fleet size, international destinations, and international flights, was the fourth best airline for 2022 according to AirlineRatings.com. The carrier also won ‘Cargo Airline of the Year’ and ‘Excellence in Long Haul – Asia’ awards.

To round up the top 5, Singapore Airlines comes in at fifth. The carrier also won the prestigious ‘Best First Class’ award for its unique Suits product. The six Suites are situated at the front of the upper deck of the airline’s flagship Airbus A380s – they are designed to be the equivalent of small private hotel homes and they are, objectively, stunning spaces. 

Singapore Airlines A380 Suites
These exclusive suites are available exclusively on the carrier’s A380-800 aircraft. | © Singapore Airlines / businesstraveller.com

The carrier also won the ‘Best Lounges’ award. 

What about the low-cost carriers?

Elsewhere, Vietjet Air won ‘Best Value Airline’. And while the best low-cost airlines were not ranked, they were comprised of Southwest Airlines, EasyJet, Allegiant Air Jetstar, AirAsia, Flair, Scoot, and Fly Dubai. 

What a list! Do you agree with these rankings? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. 

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