How this airline became the world’s best
Air New Zealand has been toppled from its position as the best airline in the world, according to an Australian ranking that has deemed another carrier a more worthy recipient.
Singapore Airlines has been named the Airline of the Year for 2019 by AirlineRatings.com, which ranks the world's carriers according to safety and in-flight product.
It was the first time Singapore Airlines has taken out the award, and it pipped Air New Zealand who held the top spot for five consecutive years.
Singapore Airlines was recognised for its strong in-flight service, revamped cabins, impressive new A350 and Boeing Dreamliner aircraft, operational safety record, and its new Singapore to New York service, which at 19 hours is the new longest non-stop flight in the world.
The accolade was part of AirlineRatings.com's annual Airline Excellence Awards that are judged by seven editors at the respected site.
They looked at criteria including fleet age, passenger reviews, profitability, investment rating, product offerings and staff relations.
"In our objective analysis Singapore Airlines came out number one in many of our audit criteria, which is a great performance," the site's editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas said.
"For years Singapore Airlines has been the gold standard and now it is back to its best, leading in passenger innovations and new state-of-the-art aircraft models.
"The editors said that the competition for top spot was tight with Air New Zealand, Qantas Airways and Qatar Airways just being nudged out."
Singapore Airlines also took out the gong for best first class product.
Air New Zealand did get an award - best premium economy and best airline for the Pacific region.
Qantas won for best domestic airline service, and also claimed the best lounges award. QantasLink was awarded best regional airline.
Virgin Australia collected the award for best cabin crew and Emirates won for best in-flight entertainment, and was named best airline in the Middle East/Africa region.
TOP TEN AIRLINES FOR 2018
1. Singapore Airlines
2. Air New Zealand
4. Qatar Airways
5. Virgin Australia
7. All Nippon Airways
8. EVA Air
9. Cathay Pacific Airways
10. Japan Airlines
Best airline (Pacific): Air New Zealand
Best airline (Middle East/Africa): Emirates
Best first class: Singapore Airlines
Best business class: Qatar Airways
Best premium economy: Air New Zealand
Best economy: Korean Air
Best domestic airline: Qantas
Best regional airline: QantasLink
Best catering: Qatar Airways
Best cabin crew: Virgin Australia
Best in-flight entertainment: Emirates
Best lounges: Qantas
Best low-cost airline: Westjet (Americas), Wizz (Europe) and AirAsia/AirAsia X (Asia/Pacific).
Best ultra low-cost airline: VietJetAir
Excellence in long haul travel: Delta Air Lines (Americas), Lufthansa (Europe), Emirates (Middle-East/Africa) Eva Air (Asia) and Air New Zealand (Pacific)
Most improved airline: Philippine Airlines.