Singapore Airlines has scooped the top prize at the annual World Airline Awards, dubbed the “Oscars of the aviation industry”, regaining a title it last held in 2008.
The Asian carrier pipped Qatar Airways – last year’s winner – to the gong, with Japan’s All Nippon Airways completing the podium.
Virgin Atlantic dropped four places to 29th overall but remained the highest ranked UK airline. British Airways experienced something of a resurgence, meanwhile, rising nine places to 31st, as well as winning the award for Best Cabin Crew in the UK. It is still some way off its 2006 heyday, when it topped the table, but the news is likely to offer something of a boost for the beleaguered company, which has faced criticism in recent years for scrapping free food and drink on short-haul flights, cutting legroom, and copying low-cost carriers with the introduction of “Basic” fares, which mean passengers with hold luggage pay more.
The World Airline Awards, established almost 20 years ago, are based on the opinions of travellers. Skytrax, the company behind them, claims more than 20 million people took part in the 2017/2018 survey.
Other previous winners of the top prize have included Emirates (2001, 2002, 2013, 2016), Cathay Pacific (2003, 2005, 2009, 2014) and Asiana (2010).
Top 20 | World Airline Awards 2018
- Singapore Airlines
- Qatar Airways
- All Nippon Airways
- EVA Air
- Cathay Pacific
- Hainan Airlines
- Garuda Indonesia
- Thai Airways
- Qantas Airways
- Japan Airlines
- China Southern Airlines
- Austrian Airlines
- Air New Zealand
- Turkish Airlines
- Hong Kong Airlines
There are dozens of other awards recognising everything from the best cabin crew to the best business class lounges.
Singapore Airlines won a total of eight gongs, including Best Airline, Best First Class and Best First Class Seat.
Best Business Class, Best Business Class Seat and Best First Class Lounge went to Qatar Airways.
Garuda Indonesia (ninth overall) won the Best Cabin Crew award, Thai Airways (10th) won Best Economy Class, Bangkok Airways (21st) was named Best Regional Airline, while China Southern, which rose from 23rd to 14th overall, was named Most Improved Airline.
Other risers include Aeroflot (up from 30th to 23rd), Oman Air (53rd to 44th), and Azerbaijan Airlines (71st to 58th). Falling down the rankings were Etihad (8th to 15th), Air France (18th to 25th) and Alitalia (63rd to 75th).
AirAsia (28th overall), meanwhile, won the Best Low-Cost Airline award, Norwegian (32nd) won Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline, and easyJet (43rd) won Best Low-Cost UK Airline.
There were no prizes for Ryanair, but it did rise from 76th to 64th in the rankings…