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World’s best airlines for 2023

AirlineRatings.com, the world’s only safety and product rating website, has announced Air New Zealand as its Airline of the Year for 2023. Air New Zealand is being honored for the seventh time since 2013 for its multi award winning in-flight innovations such as the SkyNest economy beds, operational safety, environmental leadership and motivation of its staff. Air New Zealand nudged out previous winner Qatar Airways (2021, 2022) Etihad Airways, Korean Air and Singapore Airlines for the top spot.

The AirlineRatings.com Airline Excellence Awards, judged by five editors with decades of industry experience, combines major safety and government audits, with 11 key criteria that include: fleet age, passenger reviews, profitability, investment rating, product offerings, and staff relations. AirlineRatings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas said: “In our objective analysis Air New Zealand came out number one in many key areas although it was a very close scoring for the top five.”

The Top 25 premium airlines are as follows:

1. Air New Zealand
2. Qatar Airways
3. Etihad Airways
4. Korean Air
5. Singapore Airlines
6. Qantas
7. Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic
8. EVA Air
9. Cathay Pacific Airways
10. Emirates
11. Lufthansa / Swiss
12. SAS
13. TAP Portugal
14. All Nippon Airways
15. Delta Air Lines
16. Air Canada
17. British Airways
18. Jet Blue
19. JAL
20. Vietnam Airlines
21. Turkish Airlines
22. Hawaiian
23. KLM
24. Alaska Airlines
25. United Airlines

Air New Zealand won Best Economy Class while Qatar Airways picked up Best Business Class for the fourth-year running and Best Catering.


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Singapore Airlines won Best First Class, while Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic won Best Cabin Crew. Best-In-Flight Entertainment and Best Premium Economy went to Emirates, while Qantas picked up Best Lounges.

Excellence in Long Haul travel awards went as follows: Middle East – Qatar Airways, North Asia – Korean Air, Northern Europe – Lufthansa, North America – Delta Air Lines, South America – Latam, Southern Europe – Turkish Airlines, South-East Asia– Singapore Airlines, Australia/Pacific – Air New Zealand, African Airline – Air Mauritius.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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  1. No one’s going to disagree with Qatar for Best Business Class. How they manage to serve such high quality food at high altitude is beyond me.

    1. I so agree. Business in the airline’s Q-Suite to and from Doha and US was fabulous. I never had jet lag. Being isolated, the free space, and the service whenever I wanted it was wonderful. Even regular business between Doha and Nairobi and then Entebbe and Doha was wonderful. And the price was unbelievable — which also included domestic from my home city Sacramento.

  2. Pleasing to hear that there is an award for best lounge. It’s badly needed to keep airlines on their toes. Some of the ones I’ve used recently have been very disappointing.

    Failing to top up the buffet is a common failing. Often you can go 10 or 15 minutes without a member of staff.

  3. There are some surprises in those rankings.

    There’ll be recriminations and accusations flying in some of the board rooms where they would have expected their well-known brands to be a lot higher. Also there’ll be ju imitation from some of the lesser favoured brands who’ll be delighted by their placing.

  4. The long haul awards are the biggies. When you’re heading into your 12th hour in the air, the service has to be good.

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