What is the best airline in the world? Air New Zealand, Emirates, Qatar Airways? The results of two rating websites come to very different results – read on to find out why!

Every year the best airlines from around the world are selected. Skytrax has once again presented the top 10 airlines of 2017 and confirmed what I’ve known for a long time: Qatar Airways is the best airline in the world. This article will explain why this airline has earned first place, and how it has come about, that the results of this survey, are so different from airlineratings.com, another airline rating platform.

Which airline has the happiest customers?

The best airlines in the world according to Skytrax

On the 20th June 2017, Skytrax, a prestigious evaluation platform, selected the “World’s Top 10 Airlines of 2017.”

1st place: Qatar Airways

2nd place: Singapore Airlines

3rd place: ANA All Nippon Airways

4th place: Emirates

5th place: Cathay Pacific

6th place: EVA Air

7th place: Lufthansa

8th place: Etihad Airways

9th place: Hainan Airlines

10th place: Garuda Indonesia

While Emirates earned the number one spot last year, Qatar Airways won first place this year and thus, the coveted Oscar of the aviation industry. But why is the Skytrax ranking so significant? It is because this ranking is not voted for by experts, but by passengers, who have evaluated the respective airlines according to various factors. In other words: the passengers of Qatar Airways were always very satisfied. The reason for this satisfaction, I can well understand. In the past year, I frequently put the service and the route network of Qatar Airways to the test. I was more than satisfied with both the Economy Class, as well as and the Business Class.

Qatar Airways Airbus A380 cabin crew member, flight attendant shutterstock_350750447 EDITORIAL ONLY Dmitry Birin-2
Qatar has earned its 1st place! Photo: Dmitry Birin/shutterstock.com

The best airlines in the world according to airlineratings.com

This is the list of the top 10 airlines in the world for 2017, according to airlineratings.com:

1st place: Air New Zealand

2nd place: Qantas Airways

3rd place: Singapore Airlines

4th place Cathay Pacific Airways

5th place: Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic

6th place: British Airways

7th place: Etihad Airways

8th place: All Nippon Airways

9th place: Eva Air

10th place: Lufthansa

These results were actually published in November 2016, almost two months before the turn of the year. To be included in the list of top 10 airlines at all, the airlines have to meet high standards. If you do not get at least a 7-star rating in terms of security, you will get nowhere near one of the top spots.

“These airlines are the best of the best. The elite of aviation!”

Cathay Pacific Airways, ranked as the 4th best airline in the world in 2017, was recently voted the safest airline in the world by JACDEC (Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Center), closely followed by Air New Zealand. Good reviews play a key role when it comes to innovation, particularly in terms of comfort. A committed crew, as well as good customer service, will give airlines a very good chance of finishing in the top ten.

Astonishing: While there is no trace of Air New Zealand in the Skytray ranking, Qatar Airways, in turn, does not feature in the airlineratings.com ranking. This is strange because both airlines significantly dominate in their respective ranking. There are various reasons for these differences, which I shall explain to you in a bit more detail.

You need more than “good service” to be rewared with “The Best Airline in the World”

Differences in the rankings

  • Difference in the voting process: while it is the editors at airlineratings.com who vote, it is the passengers themselves at Skytrax, who vote for their favourite airline. Thus, in one case it is a group of experts voting, and in the other, a large-scale survey among passengers. The results are therefore incomparable.
  • Different target groups: the website of Airline Ratings is presented by ‘The West Australian’, a news portal from Down Under. Understandably, the editors here serve a different audience to Skytrax, who are located in London. This can have a real impact on the result.
  • Different experiences: while the New Zealanders and Australians fly east or west with Air New Zealand or Qantas, Europeans frequently use Emirates, Qatar Airways or Etihad, for these long haul flights. If it’s a matter of choosing the best airline, then it’s probably best to look back on your own experiences, regardless of who editors or readers vote for. Bias in one direction or another is also therefore not only possible, but quite probable.

Generally, both voting systems are good indicators for the quality of airlines, but also for their service and safety on board. So with these airlines, you simply cannot go wrong.

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