Francesca Street, by CNN
It has been a strange year for the aviation industry, with many airlines shutting down aircraft for a significant portion of 2020.
But as air travel returns to some areas, AirlineRatings.com has released its annual round-up of the world’s best carriers, set to help fliers decide which airline to choose for their return to the skies.
The Australia-based Aviation Safety and Product Ratings Agency compiles its Airline Excellence Awards based on criteria including fleet age, passenger reviews and product offerings. This year, the global team of editors also threw airlines’ Covid-19 responses into the mix.
And so for 2021, there’s a new entry at number one: Qatar Airways jumped up the rankings to take the top spot, Previous Winner Air New Zealand – Which has topped the list six times in the last several years and has come second this year.
As Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief of AirlineRatings.com, explains: CNN Travel It was Qatar Airways’ response to the pandemic that sealed the deal.
Thomas says, “Qatar Airways has always ranked high in our rankings, winning various awards such as Best Business Class, but it was the airline’s commitment to keeping its route network largely open that won the admiration of the judges – and the votes. attracted.”
Thomas also points to the airline’s commitment to making repatriation flights and the pandemic flying experience as safe as possible.
AirlineRatings.com usually announces its top airlines in November, in anticipation of the year ahead. The pandemic forced the Aviation Safety and Product Rating Agency to change things.
Thomas explains, “We pushed the 2021 announcement to the year 2021 due to the chaos of COVID and wanted to see how the industry would handle the pandemic in the long run.”
Usually, profitability is one of the key factors assessed by judges as they rank top airlines, but due to the huge financial impact of COVID-19 on the aviation industry, this year’s finances were ignored.
“We had to drop it this year because almost all airlines are losing money,” says Thomas.
Singapore Airlines ranks third in this year’s top five, along with Qatar Airways and Air New Zealand. Singapore Aviation Previously won the Best Airline Award in 2019.
Qantas is at number four on the AirlineRatings.com list. Australian airline was ranked separately safest airline in the world by AirlineRatings earlier this year.
Dubai-based Emirates is at number five.
In addition to the top 20 rankings, AirlineRatings.com also awarded additional awards to the airline’s offerings – including Best First Class (Singapore Airlines), Best Cabin Crew (Virgin Australia) and Best Airport Lounge (Qantas).
Meanwhile, budget carrier EasyJet won the award for best low-cost airline for Europe, while Jetstar won in Asia/Pacific and Southwest in the Americas.
AirlineRatings.com’s Top 20 Airlines for 2021
1. Qatar Airways
2. Air New Zealand
3. Singapore Airlines
6. Cathay Pacific
7. Virgin Atlantic
8. United Airlines
9. EVA Air
10. British Airways
14. Japan Air Lines
16. Hawaiian Airlines
17. Alaska Airlines
18. Virgin Australia
19. Delta Air Lines
20. Etihad Airways
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