Air New Zealand voted World’s Best Airline 2020

Air New Zealand has been named the best airline for 2020 in the Airline Excellence Awards, facilitated by, making it the sixth time that the Air New Zealand has come out on top. labels itself as the world’s only airline safety and product rating website and is based in Perth, Australia. The site has honoured Air New Zealand for its top-quality performance, in-flight innovations, commitment to safety, environmental leadership and highly motivated staff.

Air New Zealand narrowly outperformed last years’ winner, Singapore Airlines, as well as other top contenders including ANA, Qantas and Cathay Pacific. In the seven years that the Airline Excellence Awards has been running, last year was the only year in which Air New Zealand did not reach number one.

Air New Zealand

Criteria for the Airline Excellence Awards in 2020

The annual Airline Excellence Awards consists of a judging panel of seven editors, with combined experienced over of 200 years’ within the airline industry, uniting crucial safety and government inspections based on specific criteria including:

  • fleet age
  • passenger reviews
  • profitability
  • investment rating
  • product offerings
  • staff relations

Air New Zealand Acting Chief Executive Officer Jeff McDowall stated that the airline winning the award for the sixth time was a credit to the Air New Zealand staff, which consists of 12,500 people. He affirmed Air New Zealand’s focus on providing an outstanding Kiwi service to its customers every day. Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas stated that Air New Zealand’s dedication to providing an all-round excellent travel experience could be attributed to its outstanding governance structure. He declared that the airline contains one of the best executive teams in the aviation industry, with its staff consistently delivering the airline’s strategy and customer promise.

Other Airline Award Winners for 2020

The Airline Excellence awards include a variety of categories from most improved airline to best in-flight entertainment, with Air New Zealand, also crowned ‘best premium economy’ for 2020.

Singapore Airlines managed to claim the impressive ‘first-class’ award with their range of luxury cabin suites, which could be mistaken for small rooms in a five-star hotel.

Qatar Airways was crowned ‘best catering’ and ‘best business class’ with its range of top-quality Q-suites, which have been hailed by Geoffrey Thomas as ‘a standard to which some airlines can only aspire’.

Qantas Airlines secured ‘best domestic airline service’ as well as ‘best Lounges’ as Mr Thomas noted the airline’s consistently high customer approval rating.

Virgin Australia claimed the ‘best economy’ award due to their airy cabins across both their international and domestic flights. The airline was also voted ‘best cabin crew’ as Mr Thomas states that Virgin Australia has been vital in redefining passenger’s travel experience.

Emirates won ‘best in-flight entertainment’ being one of the first airlines to install seatback videos in economy class and boasting over 4,500 channels which include movies, tv shows, music and games in multiple languages.

The Philippines’ Cebu Pacific was crowned ‘most improved airline’ for 2020 due to its initiative to use new generation fuel-efficient aircraft and its commitment to reduce its carbon dioxide emission.

VietJetAir won ‘best ultra-low-cost airline’ with its ability to provide affordable travel to millions of passengers.

Airline Excellence Awards top 20 airlines

The Airline Excellence Awards are usually narrowed down to a top 10 list, for 2020; however, the shortlist has been expanded to a top 20 to recognise the many excellent airlines that passengers can choose. This years’ top 20 includes:

Air New Zealand

Singapore Airlines

All Nippon Airways


Cathay Pacific Airways


Virgin Atlantic


Qatar Airways

Virgin Australia



Japan Airlines


Korean Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines

British Airways

Alaska Airlines

Delta Air Lines

Etihad Airways.