World’s best airlines -skytrax 2013

The 2013 Skytrax World Airline Awards were announced at the Paris Air Show on the 18th June 2013. The awards are based on a passenger satisfaction survey completed on 200 airlines by travellers from over 160 countries. They review over 40 plus areas from check-in to cabin cleanliness to food to service.

The airline award winners are becoming fairly predictable. The names Air New Zealand, Air Asia, Qatar, Emirates, Cathay Pacific and Singapore sit in the top categories year on year. It makes me wonder if the airlines that are not in the Top 20 make any real effort to get there? For example, no US airline sits in the Top 20 airlines in the world. And there seems to be no attempt to get there by those carriers. Are quality and profitability seen as not possible by those airlines?

The Top 20 airlines are very closely aligned to my own experiences.

Qatar has been voted as best airline in the world for the last two years(2011

and 2012). Emirates got the gong this year jumping from 8th place last year. They have been in the Top Ten for the last few years inching their way to top spot. And good on them. They are a joy to fly.

Virgin America won Best Low-Cost Airline and Best Airline Staff Service in North America while jetBlue Airways were voted Best Regional Airline North America. This is consistent with my own experiences when I consider jetBlue and Virgin America to be the two best airlines in the USA. No other US carrier got a nod. Air Canada got North America’s Best carrier and 20th in the world. Delta Airways was the highest ranked US “legacy” carrier at 45th (up from 57 last year). United was at 57th place.

The Good news for Qantas Airways is that they were voted as the Best Airline in Australia and the Pacific. Qantas also soared back into the top ten airlines of the world at number ten after their spectacular fall from grace last year. They have had a bad run for a while. Qantas subsidiary Jetstar Airways won Best Low Cost Airline for the Australia / Pacific region. Virgin Australia were awarded Best Staff Service in Australia / Pacific and 13th best airline in the world.

The surprise was the elevation of Garuda to World’s Best Economy Class! They also moved into the Top Ten airlines for the first time moving to 8th. I still have a nervousness with airlines from Indonesia.

Of the Top 20 airlines, Ten are Star Alliance, four are or will be One World Airlines, four are not in any of the three major groupings, and two are or will be Skyteam airlines.

World’s 20 best airlines 2013

Rank 2013AirlineRank012My RankStar RatingAllianceComments
1Emirates122****--
2Qatar Airways 11*****OneWorld 2014
3Singapore Airlines37*****Star
4All Nippon Airways - ANA 5--*****Star
5Asiana Airlines 2--*****Star
6Cathay Pacific43*****OneWorld
7.Etihad Airways 618****---
8Garuda Indonesia 11--****SkyteamFirst Time in Top Ten
9Turkish Airlines 712****Starinconsistent quality between flights. . still waiting for my points from my last flights
10Qantas1510****OneWorld
11Luftahnsa1411****Star
12EVA Air 13--Star
13Virgin Australia125****--
14Malaysia Airlines10---*****OneWorldBig Slip for a 5 Star Airline
15Thai Airways 95****StarBig Fall
16Swiss Int'l Air Lines 1518****Star
17Korean Air 1618****Skyteam
18Air New Zealand 173****Star
19Hainan Airlines 20---*****----Low considering they are considered by Skytrax to be a Five Star airlinern
20Air Canada 1918****Star

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  1. i don’t have the full list, but it’s something like EK, QR, SQ, NH, OZ, CX, EY, Garuda, TK, QF

  2. Thanks Martin. The ranking of Emirates as Airline of the Year surprised me since it’s not a 5-star airline according to Skytrax. I wonder what criteria they used to determine Emirates as the best. Also, has anyone on here ever filled out a survey from skytrax? I normally fly 15-20 flights a year and have never seen a skytrax survey.
    As for a reason why US airlines are not in the top 10, perhaps they just have more important issues to worry about like keeping themselves afloat and profitable. If this survey was taken back in the 1970s, there would have been a lot more US airlines in the top 10.

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