By Alison Fox
Jul 28, 2021
QATAR AIRWAYS WAS VOTED the best airline in the world for 2021, according to AirlineRatings.com.
The Doha-based airline was awarded the top spot based on a host of criteria, including the age of its fleet, passenger reviews and product offerings, as well as its “commitment to keeping the world’s critical long-haul air routes open during COVID-19,” according to the site.
In addition to the No. 1 ranking, Qatar Airways also took the top spots for best business class (the airline is known for its Qsuites) and best catering.
“Over the past 16 months, the aviation industry has witnessed some of its darkest days, but Qatar Airways has continued to operate and stand by our passengers despite many other airlines halting operations due the pandemic,” Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said in a statement. “Qatar Airways continues to reach new heights and set industry standards that deliver unrivaled passenger experience because it is in our DNA to do everything with excellence. Our commitment is to provide the highest possible level of health and safety standards both on the ground and in the air, with 5-star service at the core of our business.”
Air New Zealand, which took the top spot in 2020, came in at No. 2 in this year’s global rankings but took the title of best airline in the Pacific, and was lauded for having the best premium economy and best economy seats overall. Singapore Airlines — perennial winner of World’s Best Airline according to T+L readers — took the top prize for best first-class seats, but came in No. 3 overall.
Qantas, which AirlineRatings.com ranked the safest airline in the world, won best domestic airline service and best lounges. Also down under, Virgin Australia won for best cabin crew.
Emirates was awarded best in-flight entertainment. According to AirlineRatings.com editor in chief Geoffrey Thomas: “Emirates was one of the pioneers of IFE, and one of the first to install seatback videos in economy. Today its IFE platform ICE is in a class of its own.”
VietJetAir was named best ultra low-cost airline for the third year in a row. As for low-cost carriers, Southwest took the top spot, followed by Easyjet, and Jetstar.
These are the top 20 airlines for 2021, according to AirlineRatings.com.
- Qatar Airways
- Air New Zealand
- Singapore Airlines
- Cathay Pacific
- Virgin Atlantic
- United Airlines
- EVA Air
- British Airways
- Japan Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Alaska Airlines
- Virgin Australia
- Delta Air Lines
- Etihad Airways
All photos courtesy of Qatar Airways