Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

It’s official: these are the 10 best airlines in the world


We’re always told to focus on the journey, not the destination – but, when it comes to booking a trip abroad, plenty of us are more focused on where we want to go over how we want to get there.

However, if you’d like to make sure yours is an all-round amazing trip, then it’s worth paying a little more attention to the airline you choose to fly with.

And, if you want the very best flight, then you ought to opt for Air New Zealand.

Read more: Top 100 books to read on holiday

That’s right; Air New Zealand has been named the best airline in the world for the fourth consecutive year at the 2017 Airline Excellence Awards

Praised for its innovative new features, including its “cuddle class seating” for more affectionate passengers, the company was also hailed for its environmental leadership, motivated staff, and financial performance.

Fleet age, passenger review, ratings, and key product offerings were also considered.

AirlineRatings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas said: “In our objective analysis Air New Zealand came out number one in virtually all of our audit criteria, which is an exceptional performance.”

Little bit of icing sugar dusted on the top there #TravelTuesday #AirNZShareMe #MtTaranaki 📸: @k___eds

A photo posted by Air New Zealand (@airnz) on

He continued: “Quite simply Air New Zealand is an airline of first choice. And given the airline’s location and the country’s size, its performance is even more remarkable.

“This outstanding performance has seen Air New Zealand catapult to the top tier of the industry in a host of areas.”

Meanwhile Etihad Airways was praised for offering the Best First Class packages, while Virgin Australia was applauded for having the Best Business Class. Virgin Airways, as a whole, also picked up the award for Best Cabin Crew – thanks to their unfailing “commitment to their passengers”.

Read more: Top 50 islands in the UK

In overall rankings, however, New Zealand had staunch competition from Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Cathay Pacific Airways.

You can see the full list of the best airlines below.

Air New Zealand is the overall best airline in the world

Air New Zealand is the overall best airline in the world

The top 10 best airlines of 2017 are:

  1. Air New Zealand
  2. Qantas Airways
  3. Singapore Airlines
  4. Cathay Pacific Airways
  5. Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic
  6. British Airways
  7. Etihad Airways
  8. All Nippon Airways
  9. Eva Air
  10. Lufthansa

“Whether number one or number 10, these airlines are the best of the best – the elite in aviation,” said Thomas. “They are the trendsetters and the benchmark by which all others are judged.” 

Time to get that flight booked, we say…



Revealed: the world's best boutique hotels


Want to move to Canada? You’d better do one of these jobs


Stylist's World Afro Day competition - Terms & Conditions


Find yourself a hotel deal with Mr & Mrs Smith

20 Oct 2017

See red in Koh Samui

Stylist heads to Thailand to experience one of the most spectacular swimming pools in the world

by The Stylist web team
17 Oct 2017

You're more likely to get better service on a plane if you sit here

We've got all the in-flight seating tips you could ever want

by Megan Murray
16 Oct 2017

These are the 10 happiest places to live in the UK

Is it time for a change of scenery?

by Susan Devaney
11 Oct 2017

Discover a Costwolds bolthole with museum-worthy art

Stylist finds Artist Residence Oxfordshire more than lives up to its name

by Amy Adams
10 Oct 2017

The 10 dreamiest (and most expensive) streets to live on in the UK

We should have started saving about ten years ago

by Megan Murray
04 Oct 2017

Discover the real Rome that lies beyond the silver screen

Stylist goes behind the scenes at the living film set that is Rome

by The Stylist web team
03 Oct 2017

Seriously hip hotels you need to follow on Instagram

From a rock’n’roll hideaway in Texas to a futuristic glampsite in Devon

by Anna Hart
28 Sep 2017

Step between the scenes of Australia’s artsy second city…

Melbourne shuns beaches and boardwalks for coffee, culture and creativity, finds Stylist

by The Stylist web team
26 Sep 2017

This is how to book an NYC shopping trip with Sarah Jessica Parker

Sex and the City fans, this is not a drill

by Megan Murray
26 Sep 2017