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Top 10 airlines for 2017 named at World Airline Awards

June 22, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The World Airline Awards, sometimes called the Oscars of the airline industry, have been announced at the Paris Air Show. The chosen top airline of 2017 is controversial – and don’t look for any Australian airlines in the Top Ten.

Qatar Airways has been named as World’s Best Airline. That’s controversial because tiny Qatar (pronounced cutter) is caught up in a current diplomatic crisis affecting of Middle East states, some of which accuse it of supporting causes that back terrorism.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have suspended ties with Qatar, severing air, sea and land links. But Qatar Airways is shrugging off the row, and will add 66 Airbus SE A350 planes over the next five years. See: Mideast problems fail to scare buoyant Qatar Airways

Taking top honours at the World Airline Awards will be another feather in the cap for Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways A380 pictured at Atlanta airport


Etihad Airways took the World’s Best First Class, Best First Class Seat and Best First Class Onboard Catering titles.

Etihad’s vice president guest experience delivery, Linda Celestino, said: “This is a great honour for us – particularly as these awards mark the culmination of a global consumer satisfaction survey of millions of travellers around the world. Our First Class experience is unlike any other and has been tailored around exact requirements of those who wish to enjoy a truly bespoke hospitality experience, with the finest in-flight dining and amenities, incomparable levels of privacy and the genuine warmth and care for which we are known.

In recent years, Etihad Airways has won numerous accolades for its First Class service and cabin designs. This also marks the third time the airline has won all three First Class award categories at the World Airline Awards.

Chief executive of Skytrax, Edward Plaisted, said Etihad Airways continued to be “a market leader in first class air travel, illustrated by their excellent performance in this First Class section of the awards. It is a remarkable display of consistency to yet again secure this very prestigious set of awards and we congratulate them on this achievement.”


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

While no Australian airline made it into the Top Ten (and no American airline either), Qantas took the award for World’s Best Premium Economy Class and Best Premium Economy Class Airline Seat. Its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar was named Best Low-Cost Airline in the Australia / Pacific region.

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker


Qantas ranked ninth in 2016. It seems to have peaked in the ranking in 2008, when it was judged third best airline in the world. This year, Qantas came 15th. Air New Zealand came 19th.

This is the fourth time that Skytrax have staged the Awards event at Paris Air Show. The Air Show organisers (GIFAS) provided the fabulous Air and Space Museum as the venue.

Some of the 2017 winning airlines and best airline alliance:

• Garuda Indonesia retains its prestigious title for World’s Best Cabin Staff.
• EVA Air has the world’s cleanest airplane cabins, say global travellers.
• Thai Airways wins a major award, being named world’s Best Airline Economy Class.
• Bangkok Airways wins the World’s Best Regional Airline award for the second consecutive year.
• Lufthansa is named the Best Airline in Europe and moves higher in the global rankings.
• Singapore Airlines business class seat is voted the world’s best by customers.
• Star Alliance takes gold for World’s Best Airline Alliance and World’s Best Airline Alliance Lounge.

Linda Celestino, Etihad Airways Vice President Guest Experience Delivery, receives the Skytrax World Airline Awards for World’s Best First Class Airline, World’s Best First Class Onboard Catering and World’s Best Fi


Aegean Airlines
Best Regional Airline in Europe

Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Best Airline in Eastern Europe

World’s Best Low-Cost Airline
Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia

AirAsia X
World’s Best Low Cost Airline Premium Cabin
World’s Best Low Cost Airline Premium Seat

Air Astana
Best Airline in Central Asia / India
Best Airline Staff Service in Central Asia / India

Air Canada
Best Airline in North America

Alaska Airlines
Best Regional Airline in North America
Best Airline Staff in North America

ANA All Nippon Airways
World’s Best Airport Services
Best Airline Staff Service in Asia

Austrian Airlines
Best Airline Staff Service in Europe

Best Airline in South America
Best Regional Airline in South America

Azul Linhas Aereas Brasileiras
Best Low-Cost Airline in South America
Best Airline Staff in South America

Bangkok Airways
World’s Best Regional Airline
Best Regional Airline in Asia

Copa Airlines
Best Airline in Central America / Caribbean
Best Airline Staff in Central America / Caribbean

World’s Best Airline Inflight Entertainment
Best First Class Comfort Amenities

Ethiopian Airlines
Best Airline in Africa

Etihad Airways
World’s Best First Class
Best First Class Seat
Best First Class Onboard Catering

World’s Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness
Best Business Class Comfort Amenities

Best Low-Cost Airline in Africa

Best Airline in Northern Europe

Best Low Cost Airline in the Middle East

Garuda Indonesia
World’s Best Cabin Crew

Hainan Airlines
Best Airline in China
Best Airline Staff Service in China

Best Low-Cost Airline in Central Asia / India

Japan Airlines
Best Economy Class Airline Seat

Jetstar Airways
Best Low-Cost Airline in Australia / Pacific

Best Airline in Europe
Best First Class Airline Lounge Dining
Best Airline in Western Europe

World’s Best Long Haul Low-Cost Airline
Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe

Oman Air
Best Airline Staff in the Middle East

Plaza Premium
World’s Best Independent Airport Lounge

World’s Best Premium Economy Class
Best Premium Economy Class Airline Seat

Qatar Airways
World’s Best Airline
World’s Best Business Class
Best First Class Airline Lounge
Best Airline in the Middle East

Royal Air Maroc
Best Regional Airline in Africa

Saudi Arabian Airlines
World’s Most Improved Airline

Singapore Airlines
Best Airline in Asia
Best Business Class Airline Seat
Best Premium Economy Onboard Catering

South African Airways
Best Airline Staff in Africa

Star Alliance
World’s Best Airline Alliance
World’s Best Airline Alliance Lounge

Thai Airways
World’s Best Economy Class
Best Airline Lounge Spa Facility
Best Economy Class Onboard Catering

Thomson Airways
World’s Best Leisure Airline

Turkish Airlines
World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge
Best Business Class Onboard Catering
Best Business Class Lounge Dining
Best Airline in Southern Europe

Virgin Australia
Best Airline in Australia/Pacific
Best Airline Staff in Australia/Pacific

West Air
Best Low-Cost Airline in China

For the complete Top 100 airlines list for 2017, click here.

The prestigious World Airline Awards are widely considered to be a global benchmark of airline excellence. Winners are chosen based on the votes and findings of a 10-month survey of over 19 million air travellers from 105 countries.

The survey covers over 325 airlines, from the largest international airlines to smaller domestic carriers, measuring quality standards for 41 key performance indicators across front-line product and service factors in the airport and onboard environments.

Written by Peter Needham

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