Air New Zealand has been named the best airline of 2018 – for the fifth year in a row.
It won the Airline of the Year for 2018 title from AirlineRatings.com, which is claimed to be the world's only safety and product rating website.
Air New Zealand received the honour for its record-breaking performance, multi award winning in-flight innovations, operational safety, environmental leadership and motivation of its staff.
The AirlineRatings.com Airline Excellence Awards, judged by six editors with over 180 years' industry experience, combines major safety and government audits, using 12 criteria including fleet age, passenger reviews profitability, investment rating, product offerings, and staff relations.
Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon says, "This award is testament to the huge effort from all of our people to deliver a world class Kiwi experience on the ground and in the air. It is extremely rewarding to see their hard work recognized by such an experienced panel of aviation judges.
"Air New Zealand is committed to redefining the customer experience and we are looking forward to unveiling many exciting new initiatives in 2018."
Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas says: "In our objective analysis, Air New Zealand came out number one in virtually all of our audit criteria, which is an exceptional performance."
Other winners in the Airline Excellence Awards are: Qantas, Etihad, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Korean Air, Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Air Canada, Norwegian, Aegean Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Westjet and VietJetAir.com.
- Qantas won Best Domestic Airline Service, Best Catering and Best Lounges
- Singapore Airlines picked up Best First Class and Best Cabin Crew
- Korean Air won Best Economy
- Virgin Australia won Best Business Class
- Emirates won Best In-Flight Entertainment
- Aegean Airlines won Best Regional Airline
- Tianjin Airlines won Most Improved Airline.
- VietJetAir took the new category, Best Ultra Low-Cost airline
- Air Canada (Americas), Virgin Atlantic (Europe), Etihad Airways (Middle-East/Africa) and
- Korean Air (Asia/Pacific). Best Low-Cost Airline; Westjet (Americas), Norwegian (Europe) and Scoot (Asia/Pacific) all won Excellence in Long Haul travel awards.
AirlineRaings.com also has named its Best of the Best top 10 Airline for 2018. They are: Air New Zealand, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia, Virgin Atlantic, Etihad Airways, All Nippon Airways, Korean Air, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines.