Aviation

The 14 best airlines in the world; Qantas doesn’t make the cut

Daisy Melwani

Competition in the skies is rife as ever, with a rise in budget carriers, not to mention an overhaul in legacy carriers offerings which make the lie-flat bed seem commonplace, taken over by private suites, showers and onboard spas.

Online a new breed of websites have surged in popularity to help travellers find the best bang for their buck. One such website, AirHelp Score has released its ranking of airlines for 2016.

AirHelp’s ranking takes into account a number of metrics in three key areas:

Quality and Service
This rating, from Skytraxresearch.com , factors in hundreds of metrics and details to give us a measure of an airline’s quality, both on the ground and in the air.

On-Time Performance
We pull each airline’s on-time departure statistics for the last three months to determine how likely they are to arrive on time.

Claim Processing
This rating takes into account how efficiently and fairly a carrier handles delay compensation claims, including percentage of claims rejected, as well as turnaround times for processing and payouts.

So how did the world’s best airlines fare? Some big names like Qatar, Emirates, and British Airways appear in the rankings, however what’s more interesting is the one’s that didn’t, like Qantas or Virgin Australia. All the US carriers were notably absent too and only two British carriers were good enough, according to the rankings. Here’s the list as per the Independent.

14. British Airways — Britain had two airlines in the top 14 — more than any other country. London-based British Airways performed best in the claims processing category.

13. Emirates — Emirates is often considered the face of luxury long-haul air travel and that was reflected in its strong scoring for quality and service. However, its position was lowered by a weaker performance in the other categories.

12. Air France — The French carrier has had a fantastic year. In 2016, it won awards for Best First Class Airline Lounge Dining and Best First Class Comfort Amenities, but its lowest score was for the punctuality of its flights.

11. Lufthansa — With 268 aircraft in its fleet — excluding all subsidiaries — Lufthansa is Germany and Europe’s biggest airline, yet still manages to provide exceptional service. It operates services to 197 international destinations and also won Skytrax’s prize for Best Transatlantic Airline and Best Airline in Western Europe.

10. Finnair — Finnair is Finland’s flagship carrier and was founded in 1923, making it one of the oldest in the world. Finnair excelled when it came to the efficiency and punctuality of its fleet which, in 2015, transported over 10 million passengers.

9. Air Canada — Air Canada is the world’s tenth largest passenger airline by fleet size and also won Global Traveler magazine’s award for the best airline in North America for ten consecutive years.

8. Cathay Pacific Airways — The Hong Kong-based airline was given full points for its quality and service. Skytrax respondents also gave the airline high marks for seat comfort, service quality, and in-flight entertainment.

7. Air Baltic — Latvia’s flag carrier is a low-cost carrier that operates only within Europe. It had the lowest score for quality and service of all the carriers in the top 14, but scored remarkably well for its claims processing and the number of flights that arrive on time.

6. Virgin Atlantic Airways — Richard Branson’s transatlantic carrier scored pretty evenly across the board, putting it in a healthy sixth place. The British airline recently partnered with US airline Delta putting it in direct competition with the British Airways-American partnership.

5. KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines — Founded in 1919, The Netherlands’ flagship carrier is the oldest in the world and is still going strong. Its 156-plane fleet has one of the best safety records and is extremely punctual, with 88% of all flights arriving and departing on time.

4. Singapore Airlines — Singapore Airlines was one of the few to earn full marks for its quality and service, but its poor turnaround time in processing complaints and payouts means its overall standing was damaged.

3. Austrian Airlines — Austrian Airlines is a subsidiary of Lufthansa and has weathered labour disputes in the past few years to retain its position towards the top of AirHelp’s ranking. Its service is punctual, it offers first-rate service, and complaints and compensation are handled efficiently.

2. Air Dolomiti — Perhaps an surprising contender for second place, Air Dolomiti is one of Italy’s regional airlines but is controlled by Lufthansa. The company’s fleet is made up of just 10 planes but had the strongest ‘on-time performance’ score of any of the airlines in the top 14.

1. Qatar Airways — The best airline in the world according to AirHelp is the Doha-based Qatar Airways. It scored well across the board but earned top marks for its overall quality and service. The airline flies to over 125 destinations across the globe and is expanding to a further 50 new destinations.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

3 responses to “The 14 best airlines in the world; Qantas doesn’t make the cut”

  1. This is a rubbish list by a rubbish survey by a rubbish website trying to gain publicity

    I travel very frequently and I assure you that Qantas would rank in the top 50 and in fact within top 12. When are Australians going to stop denigrating their own companies. Is it a cultural cringe or just plain prejudice or are they just plain ignorant and yet opinionated. Sheesh.

    And we do not live in a country where we can sack a flight attendant when they no longer fit in a size 8 dress or turn 30 or 35 or get married or exceed 45 kg or 50 kg.

    Google Qatar and flight attendants and read about the disgraceful way they treat and intimidate their fight attendants/cabin crew.

    Problem is that Qantas pay their cabin crew far too much and then they stick around for a hundred years because they would earn a fraction of this working in a bar, shop or restaurant.

    But would you want the civil liberties of Qatar. Look at the way they treat the immigrant workers on the construction sites in Qatar. They treat them like slaves in unbelievably harsh weather conditions and at unsafe workplaces and often do not pay them or allow them to leave the country.

    I would NEVER EVER TRAVEL WITH QATAR AIRWAYS BY CHOICE as a matter of principle. I did have the displeasure of travelling with them recently as no choice. In my opinion a very lack lustre airline. Like everything else with Qatar probably paying people to say nice things. And how in hell did they win the World Cup Soccer I wonder.

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