These Are the World’s Best Airlines

Airline ranking site Skytrax recently announced the winners of its 2022 World Airline Awards.

These Are the World’s Best Airlines

Did your favorite carriers make the list?

Photo by BABAROGA/Shutterstock

After two and a half years during which the world’s airlines were flying a fraction of the international routes that they flew before the pandemic and as air travel experiences a rebound fraught which challenges, judging which carriers are best in class has meant taking into consideration very different factors than prior to 2020.

Over the past several months, 14 million people from over 100 countries cast their ballots for their favorite airlines for the Skytrax 2022 World Airline Awards. The result was that while some airlines maintained their high marks—Qatar Airways walked away with the world’s best airline title for the seventh year in a row—others shifted in ranking as the industry continues to adjust to a new normal. In previous years, Middle Eastern and Asian carriers have dominated the categories (both regions kept a very strong presence) with only a small smattering of U.S. and European airlines represented. This year, however, definitely saw a stronger showing of European airlines.

According to Skytrax chief executive Edward Plaisted, the win by Qatar Airways was aided by the fact that it was the largest airline to have flown consistently throughout the pandemic. Qatar Airways never dropped below 30 global destinations since 2020; other international carriers were forced to significantly reduce their global route network as demand for travel slumped.

There were no U.S. carriers in the top spots for world’s best airlines, but Delta Air Lines ranked No. 1 for best North American airlines (it was the highest ranking U.S. carrier on the world’s best airlines list at No. 24), followed by Southwest Airlines, which also ranked third among the world’s best low-cost carriers. In Europe, Turkish Airlines topped the list.

Skytrax, which carries out the extensive traveler survey and rankings, announced the winners at the end of September during a ceremony at the Langham Hotel in London—the first time the awards had been announced at an in-person event after two years of virtual ceremonies.

The 2022 World Airline Awards were compiled based on results of an online survey conducted from September 2021 to August 2022, featuring more than 350 airlines and offered in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, and Chinese.

The 2022 results for the world’s best airlines are as follows:

The world’s 10 best airlines

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Emirates
  4. ANA All Nippon Airways
  5. Qantas Airways
  6. Japan Airlines
  7. Turkish Airlines
  8. Air France
  9. Korean Air
  10. Swiss International Air Lines

The world’s top low-cost airlines

  1. AirAsia
  2. Scoot
  3. Southwest Airlines
  4. Ryanair
  5. IndiGo
  6. Vueling Airlines
  7. EasyJet
  8. Jet2.com
  9. Jetstar Airways
  10. Flynas

The world’s best cabin staff

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

The world’s cleanest airlines

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

Winners in other categories included Emirates, which won for best inflight entertainment (followed by United); Star Alliance, which topped the list for best airline alliance (followed by SkyTeam then oneworld); and Singapore Ailines, which got best for first class. You can find the full lineup of winners at worldairlineawards.com.

Michelle Baran is the senior travel news editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, pandemic coverage, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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