Air New Zealand has received recognition and accolades for its innovative in-flight features, including SkyNest economy beds, operational safety, environmental leadership, and employee motivation. The airline has been honored for the seventh time since 2013. It surpassed previous winners Qatar Airways (2021, 2022), Etihad Airways, Korean Airlines, and Singapore Airlines to claim the top spot in the AirlineRatings.com Airline Excellence Awards.
Air New Zealand Emerges Top Airline
The awards are evaluated by five editors with extensive industry experience, totalling over 180 years. The judging process combines major safety and government audits with 12 key criteria, including fleet age, passenger reviews, profitability, investment rating, product offerings, and staff relations.
Geoffrey Thomas, the Editor-in-Chief of AirlineRatings.com, stated that Air New Zealand emerged as the top airline in many important areas, although the competition among the top five was closely scored.
The list of the top 25 premium airlines includes Air New Zealand, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic, EVA Air, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa/Swiss, SAS, TAP Portugal, All Nippon Airways, Delta Air Lines, Air Canada, British Airways, Jet Blue, JAL, Vietnam Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Hawaiian, KLM, Alaska Airlines, and United Airlines.
Thomas also highlighted Air New Zealand’s commitment to excellence, starting from exceptional governance and an outstanding executive team to a workforce that consistently delivers on the airline’s strategy and customer promise. Despite facing disruptions during and after the pandemic, as well as challenges from storms and cyclones, Air New Zealand responded well. The airline’s dedication to economy passengers and provision of more comfort options on long-haul flights than any other airline impressed the editorial team.
Greg Foran, the CEO of Air New Zealand, attributed the recognition to the remarkable team of 12,000 Air New Zealanders who work diligently to connect people and deliver exceptional service. He acknowledged that the airline faces difficulties in meeting customer expectations and is actively working to address concerns related to wait times, on-time departures and arrivals, lost baggage, and refunds. Foran expressed gratitude to customers for their patience and support as the airline strives to provide the best flying experience.
In addition to Air New Zealand’s overall recognition, several other airlines received awards in various categories.
Qatar Airways Emerges Top Airline for Business Class Travel
Qatar Airways won Best Business Class for the fourth consecutive year and Best Catering. Singapore Airlines secured the Best First Class award, while Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic was recognized for Best Cabin Crew. Emirates received accolades for Best-In-Flight Entertainment and Best Premium Economy, while Qantas was honored for having the Best Lounges. Air Baltic received the award for Best Regional Airline.
Excellence in Long Haul travel was acknowledged in different regions: Qatar Airways for the Middle East, Korean Air for North Asia, Lufthansa for Northern Europe, Delta Air Lines for North America, Latam for South America, Turkish Airlines for Southern Europe, Singapore Airlines for South-East Asia, Air New Zealand for Australia/Pacific, and Air Mauritius for African Airline.
The AirlineRatings.com also recognized the Best Low-Cost Airlines in different regions: Southwest for the Americas, Fly Dubai for the Middle East, AirAsia for Asia, Jetstar for Australia/Pacific, and Ryanair for Europe. Vietjet received two awards, Best Ultra Low-Cost Airline and Best Low-Cost Airline Onboard Hospitality, in recognition of its onboard offerings’ value.