Best Airlines In The World: Skytrax Releases 2018 Ranking Of Carriers

Airline industry consultancy firm Skytrax has just unveiled the world’s best airlines: carriers that made it to the 2018 World Airline Awards.

Dubbed the “Oscars of the aviation industry,” this annual ranking of carriers around the world awards airline companies based on the quality of their service.

Skytrax Airline Awards

Singapore Airlines bagged this year’s top 2018 Skytrax World Airline Award for the fourth time.

Over 22 million travelers surveyed

Skytrax surveyed 22.45 million customers from August 2017 to May 2018, where Singapore Airlines bested more than 300 commercial flyers.

According to Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted, the continued quality service of Singapore Airlines is the main reason the Changi-based commercial airliner ranked so highly.

(Read: The Best And The Worst Airlines In The World)

“A key ‘wow’ factor for customers is consistency, and this proved to a real asset for Singapore Airlines who scored highly across both product and service. I am sure Singapore Airlines will also take great pride in winning the World’s Best First Class award, less than one year after they introduced their new first-class suites,” said Plaisted in a statement.

Other winners

After Singapore, last year’s forerunner Qatar Airways fell down to second place. The Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways bagged third, while the UAE government-owned Emirates and Taiwan’s EVA Air ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

Here’s the complete list of the 2018’s top 10 airlines in the world:

  1. Singapore Airlines
  2. Qatar Airways
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. Emirates
  5. EVA Air
  6. Cathay Pacific
  7. Lufthansa
  8. Hainan Airlines
  9. Garuda Indonesia
  10. Thai Airways

Out of the top 10 airliners, only one non-Asian carrier made it to the list. Lufthansa, Germany’s largest commercial airline operator, retained its position at seventh place.

Garuda Indonesia, which was performing poorly during Skytrax’s inception, also bagged World’s Best Cabin Crew aside from the ninth place overall. Qatar Airways is the top airline when it comes to business class,  while Thai Airways is the best budget airline for those who fly economy class.

Bangkok Airways has won the best regional airline award for the fourth year in a row. Meanwhile, China Southern Airlines has shown enough positive changes to win the World’s Most Improved Airline award.

Best of the best

Skytrax doesn’t only keep track of an airline company’s overall performance against one another. Among other things, the consultancy firm also recognized the different strengths of different airlines. Other categories with their respective winners are the following:

Best airlines by global region

  • Africa: Ethiopian Airlines
  • Asia: Singapore Airlines
  • Australia/Pacific: Qantas Airlines
  • Central America/Caribbean: Copa Airlines
  • Central Asia/India: Air Astana
  • China: Hainan Airlines
  • Eastern Europe: Aeroflot Russian Airlines
  • Europe: Lufthansa
  • Middle East: Qatar Airways
  • North America: Air Canada
  • Northern Europe: Finnair
  • South America: Avianca
  • Western Europe: Lufthansa

Best economy airlines by region

  • Africa: Mango
  • Asia: AirAsia
  • Australia & Pacific: Jetstar Airways
  • Central Asia/India: Indigo
  • China: West Air
  • Europe: Norwegian
  • Middle East: Flynas
  • North America: WestJet
  • South America: Sky Airline

(Read:  The World’s Best Airport Lounges)

Best in-flight catering service

  • Economy: Thai Airways
  • Premium economy: Aeroflot Russian Airlines
  • Business: Austrian Airlines
  • First class: Air France

Best airline seating

  • Economy: Japan Airlines
  • Premium economy: Air New Zealand
  • Business: Qatar Airways
  • First class: Singapore Airlines

Best regional airlines

  • Africa: Royal Air Maroc
  • Asia: Bangkok Airways
  • South America: Azul Brazilian Airlines
  • Central Asia/India: Azerbaijan Airlines
  • Europe: Aegean Airlines

Best airline staff service by global region

  • Africa: South African Airways
  • Asia: ANA All Nippon Airways
  • Australia/Pacific: Qantas Airways
  • Central America/Caribbean: Copa Airlines
  • Central Asia/India: Vistara
  • China: Hainan Airlines
  • Europe: Austrian Airlines
  • Middle East: Emirates
  • South America: Azul Brazilian Airlines

But what about the Philippines?

Our national carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is ranked number 49 on the list, while its budget carrier PAL Express came in at number 99. This is several steps up from where they found themselves in 2017, coming in at 67th and 108th, respectively.

PAL has made moves to improve their standings in the list and, last February, PAL raised their rating on Skytrax from three-star to four-star.

(Read: 6 Best Travel Credit Cards In The Philippines: 2018 Edition)

According to a statement posted on PAL’s website, Skytrax chief executive officer Edward Plaisted said the rise in rating was due to improvements introduced by the airline over the last two years.

“New and retrofitted aircraft have played an important part in the quality improvement process,” read the statement.

PAL aims to attain a five-star rating by 2020. In line with this, they recently rolled out two new planes, an Airbus A350 and A321neo. These new Airbus jets were launched last Tuesday (July 17).

The A350 is a 295-seater that will fly the New York and London routes beginning in October. The A321neo is a 169-seater that will be used in PALs newly-launched Brisbane and Sapporo routes.

Five more A321neos are expected to arrive before the year ends, and PAL aims to add another 15 in the coming years. Four more A350s are also expected to join the fleet before the year ends, with 2 additional ones expected by the middle of 2019.