In 2021, Singapore Airlines topped the list for best first class, followed by Lufthansa in second place and Emirates in third.(Representational image)
In 2004, 23.8 million flights took off worldwide. In the first four months of 2022, the number of flights globally was already at 25.8 million. By the end of this year, 130 start-up airlines plan to launch airline operations, adding to the nearly 5,000 existing airlines with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) codes.
Picking an airline from a sea of options can be tricky. Which one is the safest? Is there good in-flight food and entertainment? What's their on-time performance record? Do bags often get misplaced in transit? What's their refund policy?
Let's look at the world's airline report by various aviation and independent bodies.
Top 10 Airlines in the 2021 Skytrax World Airline Awards (in order of ranking):
2. Singapore Airlines
3. ANA: All Nippon Airways
5. Japan Airlines
6. Cathay Pacific
7. EVA Air
8. Qantas Airways
9. Hainan Airlines
10. Air France
Indigo is ranked 49th in the 100 Best Airlines of 2021 list (ranked 58th in 2019) while Spicejet is ranked 88th (it was ranked 119th in 2019).
Indigo also finds a place in the Winners of the special 2021 COVID-19 Airline Excellence Awards.
Top by Cabin
World’s Best First Class : Rank 1: Singapore Airlines, with Lufthansa in second place and Emirates in third.
World’s Best Business Class : Rank 1: Qatar Airways followed by Singapore Airlines in second place and All Nippon Airways ranked third.
World’s Best Premium Economy Class : Rank 1: Virgin Atlantic ahead of Singapore Airlines in second place and Lufthansa in third position
World’s Best Economy Class : Rank 1: Japan Airlines ahead of Qatar Airways in second place and Singapore Airlines in third position.
World's Best Airline Cleanliness : All Nippon Airways (Vistara is ranked 11th out of the 20 listed)
World’s Best Cabin Crew : Singapore Airlines
Best Airline in Europe : Air France
Best Long Haul Low-Cost Airline: Scoot
World's Best Inflight Entertainment : Emirates
World's Most Improved Airline : Saudi Arabian Airlines (Rwandair in second place and JetSmart in third position)
Best Airline Staff
Asia: All Nippon Airways
Australia: Qantas Airways
China: Hainan Airlines
Central Asia: Azerbaijan Airlines
Europe: British Airways
Middle East: Oman Air
North America: Air Canada
South America: Azul Airlines
Central America/Caribbean: Caribbean Airlines
USA Today's People Choice of 10 Best Airlines for in-flight meals (in order of 2021 rank):
1. All Nippon Airways
2. Korean Air
3. Delta Air Lines
4. Japan Airlines
6. Singapore Airlines
8. Air France
9. Qatar Airways
10. Air New Zealand
Healthiest Food in the Sky: In 2019-20, Alaska Airlines and Air Canada shared the top spot as the airlines with the ‘healthiest’ food choices in the sky, with Delta and JetBlue tied for second, according to Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center and DietDetective.com.
Health Ratings (5 is highest): Air Canada 4.0, Alaska Airlines 4.0, JetBlue 2.9, Delta 2.9, United Airlines 2.7, American 2.7, Frontier 2.0, Allegiant Air 1.9, Spirit Airlines 1.9, Hawaiian Airlines 1.9, Southwest Airlines 1.7.
Best Frequent flyer program: WalletHub recently released a report on the best frequent flyer programs in 2022: The top 5 frequent flyer programs of 2022 are:
1. Mileage Plan from Alaska Airlines
2. MileagePlus from United Airlines
3. SkyMiles from Delta Air Lines
4. HawaiianMiles from Hawaiian Airlines
5. AAdvantage from American Airlines
The best and worst airlines for business-class travel: According to a new study from Bounce, a luggage storage company, Singapore Airlines was awarded top marks for its food, drinks and entertainment options followed by Qatar Airways while Cathay Pacific was ranked third. Turkish Airlines and Etihad Airways were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.
EgyptAir topped the list of worst airline for business-class travel, followed by Copa Airlines, Air China, Royal Air Maroc and Ethiopian Airlines taking ranks 2-5, respectively.
Edreams pick of the best airlines for flight refunds:
1. Qatar Airways: Requests processed: 100%, Average time: Less than a week
2. British Airways: Requests processed: 100%, Average time: Less than a week
3. Delta Air Lines: Requests processed: 98%, Average time: Less than 2 weeks
Edreams pick of the world’s most reliable airlines:
1. Qatar Airways: Cancellation rate: ▼ 35%, Ticket flexibility score: 5, Reliability: 4.2
2. KLM: Cancellation rate: ▼ 35%, Ticket flexibility score: 5, Reliability: 4.1
3. Turkish Airlines: Cancellation rate: ▼ 35% Ticket flexibility score: 5, Reliability: 4.1
Edreams pick of Best customer-rated airlines (5 is the highest rating):
1. All Nippon Airways: Overall experience: 4.3, Value for money: 4.0
2. Qatar Airways: Overall experience: 4.1, Value for money: 3.9
3. Singapore Airlines Overall experience: 4.1, Value for money: 3.9
Edreams pick of Airlines with the most COVID-19 safety measures (5 is the highest rating): Delta Air Lines: 5.0, All Nippon Airways: 4.4, Qatar Airways: 4.4, Turkish Airlines: 4.4, Etihad Airways: 4.4
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