Qatar Airways rated the best airline in the world

Source: RTE News

Qatar Airways has regained its top billing on’s annual ranking of the world’s best airlines, while last year’s favourite has slipped down the list.

And there was also a rankings drop for two of Australia’s biggest airlines.

It’s not the first time Qatar Airways has taken out the top spot on the list, as it was ranked first in 2022.

Speaking to TND, editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas said judges looked at many factors when ranking the airlines.

In addition to 12 objective criteria (which include fleet age, passenger reviews, safety and innovation), an expert panel of pilots is also consulted and they weigh in on the airlines’ training.

Thomas said was sometimes criticised by passengers who had their preferred airline.

“All passengers have their particular likes and dislikes,” he said.

“But what we try to do is a very holistic look at the airline from end to end – because the objective of an airline is to deliver us safely from point A to point B and that involves many, many aspects.”

Across many of the categories, Qatar Airways came in at No.1, but the scoring across the top 10 was “very close”, Thomas said.

Qatar Airways happens to be one of Thomas’ favourite airlines, along with last year’s winner, Air New Zealand.

He said the airline did cop a few complaints, as do its competitors, about the in-flight service.

“The overwhelming message coming through was staff were fantastic,” he said.

“That’s one of the reasons why they’ve been ranked where they are, and, of course, also for the innovation of leading the industry with new product.”

How Australia’s airlines rank

Qantas and Virgin Australia managed to squeeze into the top 10 for the Airline Excellence Award.

Qantas was ninth, while Virgin was right behind in 10th place. Last year, Qantas was sixth and Virgin was seventh.

Additionally, Qantas won “best lounges”, while Virgin was awarded for “best cabin crew”.

Thomas said both Australian airlines could climb up the list in the coming years, as they continued to try to recover from the pandemic.

pictured is a Virgin Airlines plane and two Qantas planes

Qantas and Virgin Australia could improve their rankings. Photo: Getty

The top 25 best airlines

In 2023, Qatar Airways was runner-up to Air New Zealand.

This year, Air New Zealand fell to fourth, with Korean Air and Cathay Pacific coming in second and third, respectively.

Thomas said Air New Zealand was a “truly outstanding” airline and it frequently topped the list due to its innovation. They include features such as the “Skycouch”, where three seats can be converted into a bed and the “Skynest”, which will be available in September.

The top 25 best airlines were ranked as follows:

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Korean Air
  3. Cathay Pacific Airways
  4. Air New Zealand
  5. Emirates
  6. Air France/KLM
  7. All Nippon Airways
  8. Etihad Airways
  9. Qantas
  10. Virgin Australia/Atlantic
  11. Vietnam Airlines
  12. Singapore Airlines
  13. EVA Air
  14. TAP Portugal
  15. JAL
  16. Finnair
  17. Hawaiian
  18. Alaska Airlines
  19. Lufthansa/Swiss
  20. Turkish Airlines
  21. IGA Group (British Airways & Iberia)
  22. Air Canada
  23. Delta Air Lines
  24. United Airlines
  25. American Airlines
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