Oscars’ parallel, ‘Skytrax World Airline Awards’, the most prestigious of its kind, is one such set of awards, including a plethora of categories like Best Low-Cost Airline, Best Cabin Crew, Best Onboard Catering, Best First Class Airline, etc. just to name a few. Therefore, as per the awards received and popular public opinion about in-flight food, service, overall comfort, value for money and travel time, here is the definitive list of the 10 best International airlines in the world.
1. Singapore Airlines
Singapore airlines scooped the award for the world’s best airline this year and for good reason. It is a leading Asian airline, which has a number of accolades to its name, including World’s Best First Class, Best Airline in Asia and Best First Class Airline seat, under its belt. These awards are a testament to Singapore Airlines being one of the top 10 airlines in not only Asia but also in the world.
Also, the service of this Asian carrier is top-notch. Who doesn’t need a polite and highly efficient cabin crew during an exhausting 18-hour flight, attending to all their whims? Talk about indulgence! Speaking of indulgence, the business class suites in this carrier are designed by none other than French luxury yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste. Turns out that one night in the Singapore Airlines suite might just be better than your entire vacation. Just saying.
2. Qatar Airways
Continuing on the Asian airline trope, the next on our list is known to be lauded by the passengers for its staff’s attention to detail. Just as Qatar is replete with oil, Qatar Airwaysis replete with dexterous staff and excellent amenities. The customers have also awarded this Doha based airline with 4 out of 5 stars in categories including food, beverage, in-flight entertainment, comfortable seating, staff service, and value for money. As if this is not all, it has also won awards for the world’s best business class featuring quad-style suites and lie-flat double beds. These business class Qsuites are ergonomic and comfortable to the extent that you can catch up on some unusually tranquil sleep that is unheard of in airplanes. Pretty impressive, huh?
3. ANA All Nippon Airways
Known for competitive prices, great travel times, mind-blowing service and a fair amount of legroom, this Japanese carrier is the largest airline in Japan in terms of fleet size. Named a five-star airline by Skytrax in 2013, it is also a five-time winner of the ‘World’s best Airport services’, and a three-time winner of ‘Best Airline Staff in Asia’ by Skytrax. ANA for the win! Also for your information, All Nippon has branched out and has very recently announced the ANA Business Jet co. Ltd, a JV with Sojitz, offering private jet charter flights. So, for those of you who are looking to luxuriate, here’s an option. Didn’t see that coming, did you?
4. Emirates Airline
Emirates is the largest airline in the Middle East owing to its lightning fast profits and a growth percentage never falling below 20% a year, except for in the second year. Emirates also went on to pioneer a personal entertainment system called IFE on a commercial aircraft in 1992 and all three classes feature a personal in-flight entertainment (IFE) now. ICE, a newer version of IFE, offers more than 600 different movies, 2000 + videos on demand and prerecorded television channels, over a 1000 hours of music and a ton of video-game titles. Great way to quieten a noisy toddler! What better reason to ‘Fly Emirates’?
5. EVA Air (Evergreen Airways)
It is hard to take a commercial flight, with Hello Kitty’s face plastered all over it, seriously. But this Taiwanese carrier, despite its peculiarity, is without a smidgen of doubt, one of the best international airlines worldwide. It is the latest airline to join the 5-star club and the 15th safest airline in the world. EVA Air has also won acclaim as the third most loved airline in the world and is also ranked as the 15th safest airline in the world. For all its toy-plane looks, EVA is the second largest Taiwanese airline and is also one of the best airlines in the world. No wonder it’s called the ‘Evergreen Airways’. Brownie points for the creativity on the façade of the planes. It’s adorable!
6. Cathay Pacific Airways
It seems that Asian airlines are definitely doing everything right as we come to the sixth consecutive Asian airline to grace the ‘best international airline’list. Owing to its stellar service, good food,and state-of-the-art entertainment system, Cathay Pacific is easily moving up the ladder in the airline business. It also ranks among the top three world’s best regional airlines. Cathay boasts of powerful Rolls Royce engines and enhanced economy seats so you can book Economy class seats without any misgivings whatsoever about comfort. It is also the world’s tenth largest airline in terms of sales and fourteenth largest in terms of market capitalization. What better reason to fly aboard Cathay!
Breaking the recurring pattern with style is Deutsche Lufthansa on the seventh place. The only German airline to make this list, Deutsche Lufthansa is saving face for all European Airlines. This Frankfurt-based airline is the largest in Europe and also has the biggest Airbus A380 fleet in Europe. Also, Lufthansa was the driving force in establishing the biggest alliance in the world; The Star Alliance. Add to that some decadent food, comfortable seats, affordable tickets and a staggering amount of satisfied customers all around the globe attesting to the fact that it is the best airline in Europe. Enough said.
8. Hainan Airlines
Coming back to another Asian airline company, Hainan is a Chinese airline. Again, this airline is part of the privileged five-star club. Interestingly, it is also the first airline to go green in China. Hainan has become one of the top 10 airlines in the world to be rated as a Five-star airline by SKYTRAX for seven consecutive years! It uses biofuel to reduce emissions. This Eco-Drive was launched in the year 2008 and 63 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced thereupon. That is huge! Kudos to Hainan for such a great venture to reduce the carbonfootprint. And needless to say, the service and food are simply great. Fun fact: Hainan Airlines hosted a concert at a 30,000 feet altitude in Los Angeles.
9. Garuda Indonesia
Garuda Indonesia is the national airline of beautiful Indonesia, named thus after the holy bird Garuda from Hinduism. In 2009 this airline went through a five-year refurbishment plan known as the Quantum Leap. And thus followed an overhaul of the logo, airline’s brand and uniforms, as well as newer, state-of-the-art aircraft and facilities that proved to be a boon as it earned the airlines several prestigious titles like Most Improved Airline, 5-Star Airline, and World’s Best Cabin Crew. It also sports an impressive rating of 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor and an equally impressive 4 on AirlineQuality. It holds the reputation of being impeccably punctual always and in case of a rare exception, they even compensate the travelers by giving away vouchers for the Garuda lounge. Now, if this isn’t premium service, we don’t know what is!
10. Thai Airways
Thai Airways is the only low-cost airline to grace this list but it provides great comfort even so. Thai Airways promises a “journey as smooth as silk” with their Royal Silk Class, and these are not just empty words. They actually walk the talk with their laudably efficient services.
The check-in into Royal Silk is quick and hassle-free and the walk through security is even quicker. The departure is just as smooth and quick as the arrival, if not more. The cabin crew are super friendly and helpful throughout the journey and yet highly proficient and professional.
Thai Airlines is also a founding member of the famed Star Alliance of 1997. Amongst all Asia Pacific carriers, Thai Airways has one of the largest passenger operations in Europe. Such proactive crew, comfortable seats and ample legroom and great food amount to a blissful, comfortable journey without weighing too much on the pocket. Impressed yet?
Being the world’s most sought-after airlines, in the wake of such fierce competition, is no mean feat to achieve. These airlines have proved not once but multiple times that they’re very much deserving of the recognition bestowed upon them. So, the next time you decide to take a hiatus from the daily grind, consider booking a seat or two (or maybe a dozen) in any one of these airlines and experience for yourself that which you’ve only read here. Deciding which are the best airlines to fly will be much simpler now, won’t it? Well, you’re welcome!