Last Updated: July 21 2021 

Qatar Airways has toppled Air New Zealand to become the world’s best carrier at a time when the aviation industry is badly hit by the pandemic, as per which on Tuesday released its annual list of top 20 airlines in the world.

The Australia-based aviation safety and product rating agency “” compiles its Airline Excellence Awards based on criteria including age of fleet, passenger reviews and product offerings. This year, the team of global editors included airlines’ Covid-19 responses into the mix too. usually announces its top airlines in November, in anticipation of the year ahead. The pandemic forced the aviation safety and product rating agency to switch things up.

Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief of said “We pushed the 2021 announcement into the 2021 year due to the chaos of Covid and we wanted to see how the industry would handle the pandemic over a longer period of time before making selections,”.

Usually, profitability is one of the key factors assessed by judges as they rank the top airlines, but because of the steep financial impact of Covid-19 on the aviation industry, finances weren’t taken into consideration this year.

“To be named in the top twenty, airlines must achieve a seven-star safety rating and demonstrate leadership in innovation for passenger comfort,” said.

Qatar Airways achieved a host of industry firsts, which helped it achieve the top spot on the list. It was the first carrier to complete IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) and the first to be fully audited and compliant for Covid-19 by both AirlineRatings and Skytrax. Qatar Airways has also been awarded Best Business Class, Best Catering, and Best Middle East Airline.

Qatar Airways was ranked number 1 because of its cabin innovation, passenger service, and its dedication and commitment to continue to operate throughout the COVID pandemic.

Air New Zealand which took the second position in the Top Twenty, is always at the forefront of airline awards because of its constant innovation and industry leadership.

In third position is Singapore Airlines which continues to excel in technology innovation and in-flight products. The airline also took at Best First Class.

Qantas took the fourth spot in the Top Twenty for its outstanding safety record and fiscal performance during the extremely difficult COVID pandemic. It also took out Best Lounge and Best Domestic Service awards.

Emirates climbed to the fifth spot and has just introduced a premium economy class which is being hailed as one of the best in the industry.

Here’s the list of the top 20 airlines ranked by

  • Qatar Airways
  • Air New Zealand
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Qantas, Emirates
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • United Airlines
  • EVA Air
  • British Airways
  • Lufthansa
  • ANA
  • Finnair
  • Japan Air Lines
  • KLM
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Virgin Australia
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Etihad Airways

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