Air New Zealand takes gong for overall service
ENGLAND - Air New Zealand has been crowned best airline in the world for the fourth consecutive year, with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic also rated in the top 10 in the global rankings. Etihad’s opulent suites secured the carrier the accolade for best first-class cabin but for economy cabins, Singapore Airlines scooped the top prize. Other winners of the annual Airline Excellence and Top 10 awards include Virgin Australia, which took the title for best business cabin and Emirates was praised for offering the best in-flight experience. The 2017 awards were generated by global product and safety website airlineratings.com, which ranked the top airlines overall, best cabins of each class and highlighted the best entertainment, catering and cabin crew worldwide. To be named one of the top ten airlines in the world, carriers have to show leading innovations in passenger comfort and must have achieved a seven-star safety status. Air New Zealand was honored for the fourth year due to its in-flight innovations, financial performance and environmental leadership and commitment to a young fleet, according to the Australia-based website. AirlineRatings.com editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas said: ‘In our objective analysis Air New Zealand came out number one in virtually all of our audit criteria, which is an exceptional performance.’ The airline also took the top gong for best premium economy class for the third time, in a year which has seen investments in a streamlined and refurbished fleet, a multi-million dollar lounge redevelopment and three new international routes. Australian airline Qantas scooped the second prize leaping up from fourth place last year. Aviation stalwart Singapore Airlines took third place after introducing its new premium economy, revamped business class and the new A350, this past year. It was also awarded a prize for best economy offering. The Hong Kong flag carrier, Cathay Pacific, held the fourth spot this year while Virgin Atlantic/ Virgin Australia moved three places higher, taking the number five slot. Virgin Australia has introduced its new business class while Virgin Atlantic reintroduced a number of 787s. British Airways has stormed into the top 10 at number six following the introduction of its 787s and A380s while rolling out cabin enhancements. Airlineratings.com developed its seven-star ratings system after two years of evaluation and the system is now endorsed by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Air New Zealand came out number one in virtually all of the audit criteria of AirlineRatings.com. (Photo: aspireaviation)