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World’s best airline for 2024 named by Skytrax

<i>Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource</i><br/>An Airasia passenger plane prepares for take-off at the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar on Indonesia's resort island of Bali in May 2023.
Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource
An Airasia passenger plane prepares for take-off at the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar on Indonesia's resort island of Bali in May 2023.

By Barry Neild, CNN

(CNN) — Human beings weren’t designed to fly through the sky at 40,000 feet in a pressurized metal tube – with our aching limbs, burbling gastric systems and willful propensity to annoy other airborne human beings.

If, however, we absolutely must, the way to make that experience the best it can possibly be is to fly with Qatar Airways.

At least that’s the verdict from this year’s Skytrax Awards, which were announced Monday.

For the eighth time in the 25-year history of the prestigious awards – known as the Oscars of commercial aviation – Qatar was named the World’s Best Airline, in recognition of the quality of service it offers passengers on its modern fleet.

“This is a remarkable achievement for Qatar Airways to win this World’s Best Airline title for 2024, the eighth time they have triumphed,” Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted said in a statement to mark the award ceremony, which gathered airline execs and cabin crew in a manor house near London’s Heathrow Airport.

“We congratulate Qatar Airways on this success which should be a source of great pride and satisfaction for the airline management and staff.”

The Middle Eastern carrier has built a strong reputation over the past decade, helping Qatar’s award-winning Hamad International Airport establish itself as a global aviation hub to challenge regional rivals Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Qatar’s fleet of 230 airplanes ranges from its 10 much-loved A380 superjumbos, to Boeing 777-300ERs, Boeing 787-8s and 787-9s, Airbus A350-900s and A350-1000s, plus a range of smaller capacity jets.

“This is a proud Qatar Airways moment and it is my honor to share this award with my hard working colleagues,” the airline’s CEO Badr Mohammed Al-Meer said in a statement released by Skytrax.

“This award is testimony to our relentless dedication to providing unparalleled service and innovation. We look forward to more wins in the future.”

Close-run contest

Qatar’s victory meant second place for last year’s winner, Singapore Airlines, but only just.

UK-based Skytrax said the votes, gathered from surveys of more than 21 million customers from 100 countries about 350 airlines, were the closest run since the awards began in 1999, requiring a recount.

The rest of the top 10 was, once again, devoid of North American airlines, with Dubai’s Emirates airline in third, Japan’s ANA All Nippon Airways in fourth, Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific in fifth, Japan Airlines in sixth, Turkish Airlines is seventh, Taiwan’s EVA Air in eighth, Air France in ninth and Swiss International Airlines in 10th.

There were plenty of consolation prizes.

Five-time winner Singapore picked up the prize for World’s Best Cabin Staff – an achievement senior VP, Tan Pee Teck, put down to the “unwavering dedication and professionalism” of its in-air teams. Singapore also won for Best First Class service and Best Airline in Asia.

ANA, meanwhile, picked up the accolade for World’s Best Airport Services, as well as Best Airline Staff Service in Asia. Saudia was named World’s Most Improved Airline, beating Taiwan’s Starlux and Iceland’s Play into second and third places.

At the budget end of flying, AirAsia was once again crowned the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline – repeating an achievement it has made every year since 2010. Singapore’s Scoot was named the World’s Best Long Haul-Low Cost Airline.

AirAsia boss Tony Fernandes said his airline’s unwavering success was thanks to the work of its “Allstars” cabin crew coupled with strong brand loyalty.

“No other companies come to my mind in achieving such a winning streak, and we are very proud of it,” he said in a statement.  We dedicate this award to all of our Allstars who work tirelessly to make today happen, and also to everyone who has remained loyal to us through the ups and downs AirAsia has experienced.”

Still in Asia, Bangkok Airways picked up the World’s Best Regional Airline prize for the eighth consecutive year, while Vistara was named best India/South Asian carrier and Fiji Airways was Best Airline in the Australia/Pacific region.

Ethiopian Airlines was named Africa’s best, for the sixth year in a row. Turkish Airlines was Europe’s best, airBaltic was Eastern Europe’s winner and Hainan Airlines was best in China.

Delta Air Lines was declared the Best Airline in North America, also picking up the award for Best Airline Staff Service for the region.

The post-Covid world of heightened germ awareness, the top 10 of the World’s Cleanest Airlines were mostly based in Asia. Cathay Pacific took the top spot, with ANA, EVA, Qatar and Singapore lining up next.

The World’s Top 20 Airlines of 2024

1. Qatar Airways
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Emirates
4. ANA All Nippon Airways
5. Cathay Pacific
6. Japan Airlines
7. Turkish Airlines
8. EVA Air
9. Air France
10. Swiss International Air Lines
11. Korean Air
12. Hainan Airlines
13. British Airways
14. Fiji Airways
15. Iberia
16. Vistara
17. Virgin Atlantic
18. Lufthansa
19. Etihad Airways
20. Saudi Arabian Airlines

The World’s Best Cabin Crew 2024

1. Singapore Airlines
2. ANA All Nippon Airways
3. Garuda Indonesia
4. EVA Air
5. Cathay Pacific Airways
6. Hainan Airlines
7. Japan Airlines
8. Thai Airways
9. Qatar Airways
10. Malaysia Airlines

World’s Best Low-Cost Airlines 2024

1. AirAsia
2. Volotea
3. Flynas
4. Transavia France
5. Indigo
6. Vueling Airlines
7. airBaltic
8. Iberia Express
9. Ryanair
10. easyJet
11. flyDubai
13. Eurowings
14. SKY Airline
15. JetSMART Airlines

The World’s Best Regional Airlines 2024

1. Bangkok Airways
2. Aegean Airlines
3. Azerbaijan Airlines
4. Rex Airlines
5. Azul Brazilian Airlines
6. Virgin Australia
7. Royal Air Maroc
8. Porter Airlines
9. Alaska Airlines
10. Hong Kong Airlines

The World’s Cleanest Airlines 2024

1 Cathay Pacific Airways
2 ANA All Nippon Airways
3 EVA Air
4 Qatar Airways
5 Singapore Airlines
6 Asiana Airlines
7 Hainan Airlines
8 Japan Airlines
9 China Airlines
10 Korean Air

The full list of winners can be found on the Skytrax website

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

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