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The Most Mindblowing Features of the World's Best Airlines
The annual list by Skytrax is the aviation industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.
IMAGE COURTESY OF SINGAPORE AIRLINES
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After seven years of Arabian Gulf-based carriers topping the World’s Best Airlines list, Singapore Airlines has been named the 2018 Airline of the Year. “A key ‘wow’ factor for customers is consistency and this proved to [be] a real asset for Singapore Airlines who scored highly across both product and service,” said Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted during the awarding ceremony in London, England. In an interview with CNN, SIA’s senior vice president of customer experience Yeoh Phee Teik added that the win can be attributed to the airline’s commitment to improving its product and investing in a more modern fleet.

The Skytrax World Airline Awards, based on a survey of 20.36 million passengers across over 100 nationalities, measures customer satisfaction on the whole flight experience from booking to arrival. Learn more about the World’s Best Airlines here:

1. Singapore Airlines

Aside from the world-class service synonymous with Singapore Airlines, the airline is also known for its hotel-like Suites. Each individual cabin, designed by French luxury yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste, boasts its own sliding door, leather armchair, and standalone bed. The New A380 Suites, introduced in late 2017, ramp up the experience with a revolving leather armchair and two spacious lavatories with sit-down vanity counters exclusive to First Class passengers.

Singapore Airlines also won World’s Best First Class, Best First Class Seat, Best Airline in Asia, Best First Class Lounge in Asia, Best First Class in Asia, Best Business Class Lounge in Asia, Best Business Class in Asia, and Best Premium Economy Class in Asia. The carrier previously topped the list of the World’s Best Airlines in 2004, 2007, and 2008.

2. Qatar Airways

Offering a new standard of Business Class, the Qsuite takes cabin innovation to a new level with its quad formation that allows passengers to mingle or hold meetings up in the sky. Each seat has its own door and fully-flat bed, providing a level of comfort deserving of the World's Best Business Class, Best Business Class Seat, Best Business Class in the Middle East, and Best Business Class Lounge in the Middle East awards.

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Qatar Airways also won World's Best First Class Airline Lounge, Best Airline in the Middle East, Best Economy Class in the Middle East, Best Cabin Crew in the Middle East, and Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in the Middle East. It was also pronounced the Airline of the Year in 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2017.

3. ANA All Nippon Airways

ANA All Nippon Airways, the largest airline in Japan, has consistently been awarded a 5-Star rating by Skytrax since 2013. The airline continues to strive for excellence by offering a bespoke “Chef Service” at the ANA lounge at Haneda Airport, sake in Economy Class, and other initiatives to provide genuine hospitality to their customers.

The Japanese airline also topped the World's Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness, Best Airline Staff in Asia, and Best Cabin Crew in Japan lists.

4. Emirates

The Dubai-based airline’s in-flight entertainment system, Ice, features over 2,500 channels that showcase the latest movies, TV shows, music, and games. Since its launch in 2003, the entertainment system has won Emirates the Best Inflight Entertainment award, marking this year’s win as their 14th.

Emirates also won Best Airline Staff in the Middle East and was previously Airline of the Year in 2001, 2002, 2013, and 2016.

5. EVA Air

EVA Air is known for “Green Travel,” a carbon offset program that aims to achieve zero-carbon travel by encouraging passengers to offset their travel carbon emission. In line with this, the Taiwanese airline has also implemented environmentally friendly programs in their operations.

The carrier also won World's Best Airport Services this year.

6. Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific believes in living a "life well traveled," which is why it puts a premium on enhancing the overall travel experience. With its attention to detail, considered design, and special touches, it’s no surprise that Hong Kong’s flag carrier was pronounced Airline of the Year four times: in 2003, 2005, 2009, and 2014.

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7. Lufthansa

A first in the aviation industry, Lufthansa recently debuted a prototype for an in-flight VR experience called “VR Moving Map.” Passengers on a flight from Frankfurt to Dubai were treated to a 3D view of the ground they were flying over and 360-degree virtual tours of key locations.

The German carrier also topped the Best Airline in Europe, Best Airline in Western Europe, Best Cabin Crew in Germany, and Best Business Class in Europe lists. 

8. Hainan Airlines

Although not part of the official list of awards, it’s safe to say that Hainan Airlines has the world’s most stylish fleet. The mainland China-based airline made headlines in 2017 when the new uniforms designed by Laurence Xu showed in Paris Fashion Week. Inspired by the cheongsam, the pastel and gray designs are paired with Western-style coats and capes.

Hainan Airlines also won Best Airline in China, Best Airline Staff in China, Best Business Class Comfort Amenities, Best Business Class in China, Best Business Class Lounge in China, Best Economy Class in China, Best Cabin Crew in China, and Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in China.

9. Garuda Indonesia

Aside from making it to this year’s World’s Best Airlines list, Garuda Indonesia was also presented with the World’s Best Cabin Crew award for the fifth consecutive year. The airline continually strives to offer a sincere and friendly service, the epitome of Indonesian hospitality.

Garuda Indonesia also won the award for Best Cabin Crew in Indonesia.

10. Thai Airways

Thai Airways brings the signature Thai massage experience to its customers at the Royal Orchid Spa, the World’s Best Airline Lounge Spa of 2018. Passengers can choose between a range of services, from a 60-minute full body oil massage to a quick 30-minute foot massage.

The airline also won World's Best Economy Class, Best Economy Class Onboard Catering, Best Cabin Crew in Thailand, and Best Economy Class in Asia.

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Click here for a full list of winners.

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