Qatar Airways named’s Airline of the Year for 2021

Qatar Airways has unseated Air New Zealand as the world’s best carrier, as judged by

The Australia-based aviation specialist site also awarded Qatar the best Middle East airline, best catering and best business class.

Air New Zealand has been a regular winner of the top award, winning it six times, including for 2020. That title was awarded just before the pandemic hit.

AirlineRatings judges assess airlines on 11 criteria including customer reviews, product offerings, safety, fleet age, profitability and environmental leadership and now Covid compliance. Qatar Airways this year beat out Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Qantas for the top award.

It was Qatar’s perseverance during the pandemic that landed them top honours.Source:istock

Air New Zealand picked up best premium economy and best economy. Qantas, won best domestic airline service, and best lounges while Singapore Airlines picked up best first Class.

Virgin Australia won best cabin crew while best in-flight entertainment went to Emirates.

“At Virgin Australia it is our people who make the difference. We know many of our guests are going through a challenging time with the pandemic and everyday our team goes the extra mile to make their journey as easy and enjoyable as we can,” Virgin Australia’s CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said.

“This award acknowledges our commitment to delivering experiences our guests love and is testament to what makes us Australia’s most loved airline.

“I am proud to lead such an extraordinary group of people who have today been recognised by industry peers for delivering the very best cabin crew service in the world.”

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka has welcomed the award. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall.Source:News Corp Australia

Qantaslink won best regional airline and VietJetAir took out best ultra low-cost airline

Excellence in long haul travel: United Airlines (Americas), Lufthansa (Europe), Qatar Airways (Middle-East/Africa), Singapore Airlines (Asia) and Air New Zealand (Pacific).

Qatar Airways group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said receiving the awards by AirlineRatings was particularly special for his airline.

‘’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.’’

Air New Zealand slips in industry awardsSource:Supplied

The Doha-based airline has continued to fly to New Zealand and flies to more than 140 destinations.

In March schedule analysers OAG said Qatar Airways was the largest airline in the world by available seat kilometres (ASKs), with 2.6 billion of them that month. It succeeded arch rival Emirates as the world’s biggest carrier.

While many other airlines slashed their networks, Qatar added seven new destinations in the past 12 months,

The awards are judged by global editors with more than 100 years’ industry experience. Editor in chief Geoffrey Thomas said: “In our objective analysis Qatar Airways came out number one in virtually all of our audit criteria, which is an exceptional performance.”

This article originally appeared on the New Zealand Herald and has been republished with permission

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