Middle Eastern carriers again dominated the listings in the World Airline Awards, presented yesterday by airline review and rating site Skytrax – but local carriers also did well.
Qantas was named best airline in Australia/Pacific and Air New Zealand took out World’s Best Premium Economy Class and World’s Best Premium Economy Class Airline Seat.
Qantas commercial partner Emirates won the coveted Airline of the Year award (World’s Best Airline) with Qatar Airways following in second place. Qantas made the list of the World’s Top 10 Airlines, being judged ninth-best in the world.
The awards were announced at a gala ceremony held at Britain’s Farnborough Airshow.
At the awards event, Edward Plaisted of Skytrax said the awards remained independent, delivering an event that was aptly known as the Passenger’s Choice Awards.
“We have seen many familiar names here today appearing as repeat winners, which I guess reflects that in many cases ‘once a winner, always a winner’ in many customers eyes,” Plaisted said.
Among the many awards presented was one for the Best Airline Alliance. It was won by Star Alliance, which also received the Best Airline Alliance Lounge Award for its prestigious Los Angeles Lounge for the second consecutive year.
The World’s Top 10 Airlines of 2016
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- ANA All Nippon Airways
- Etihad Airways
- Turkish Airlines
- EVA Air
- Qantas Airways
This is the fourth time Emirates has won the top prize. The airline also won the World’s Best Inflight Entertainment category and improved its position across a range of awards categories, performing well in the First, Business and Economy Class survey sections and achieving a top-10 finish (10) in the World’s Best Cabin Staff category.
Qatar Airways was ranked No 2 in the world, and won other top awards, being named the World’s Best Business Class, the World’s Best Business Class lounge and Best Airline Staff in the Middle East.
Third-placed Singapore Airlines won the award for Best Airline in Asia, as well as the title for the Best Business Class Airline Seat.
Norwegian was voted the Best Low-cost Airline in Europe for the fourth successive year, in addition to collecting the award for Best Long Haul Low Cost Airline – for its expanding long haul operation.
Air New Zealand took out World’s Best Premium Economy Class and World’s Best Premium Economy Class Airline Seat.
The World Airline Awards also breaks down into more specific categories including Best Economy Class Airline, Best Low-cost Carrier, Best Regional Airline and Best Airline Alliance.
In the numerous other award categories, Qantas won Best Airline Staff in Australia/Pacific, Best Premium Economy Class Airline Catering. Qantas made the top 10 in numerous other categories, ranging from coming second in the World’s Best Premium Economy Class Airlines category to coming third in the Best First Class Lounge Dining category.
Jetstar was named Best Low-Cost Airline in Australia/Pacific and was placed second in the World’s Best Long-haul Low-cost Airlines category.
Virgin Australia scored second place in the Best Airline Staff in Australia/Pacific category and third in the Best Airlines in Australia/Pacific category.
Tigerair came fourth in the Best Low-Cost Airlines in Australia/Pacific category.
Award-winning airlines at the 2016 World Airline Awards included Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Air Astana, Air France, Air New Zealand, AirAsia, AirAsia X, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Azul – Brazilian Airlines, Bangkok Airways, Cathay Pacific, Copa Airlines, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Finnair, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, IndiGo, Jetstar Airways, LAN Airlines, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Plaza Premium Group, Porter Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Singapore Airlines, Sky Airline, South African Airways, Spring Airlines, Star Alliance, Thai Airways, Thomson Airways, Turkish Airlines and Virgin.
Written by Peter Needham