World's best airline named as Qantas soars back into top 10

Emirates has been named the best airline in the world for 2013.
Emirates has been named the best airline in the world for 2013. Photo: Reuters

Emirates has been named the best airline in the world for 2013, while Qantas has soared back into the top 10 in this year's annual World Airline Awards.

Qantas fell out of the World Airline Awards' top 10 for the first time last year, dropping to number 15 from number eight in 2011. The airline's ranking had sunk every year since 2008, when it peaked at number three.

This year it has climbed five places to be rated the 10th best airline in the world. Virgin Australia was not far behind in 13th place.

Emirates had an even more impressive result, taking out the No.1 spot after being rated the eighth best airline last year.

The World Airline Awards are determined by passenger surveys conducted by research firm Skytrax, who surveyed more than 18 million passengers.

As always, it was Middle-Eastern and Asian carriers that dominated the top spots, with no airlines from the US or Europe cracking the top 10.

Last year's No.1 airline, Qatar Airways, dropped one place to number two, while Singapore Airlines remained in third place for the second year in a row.

Emirates president Tim Clark said the awards were regarded as the industry's benchmark for excellence.

"To be voted 'world's best airline' by millions of discerning travellers really is something for our 60,000 strong workforce to be proud of," he said. Emirates recently began an alliance with Qantas which saw Australia's national carrier make Dubai its new hub for flights into Europe.

Qantas was also awarded Best Airline Australia-Pacific and budget offshoot Jetstar Airways won Best Low Cost Airline for our region.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the result put Qantas and Jetstar among the best airlines in the world.

"Skytrax is a leading indicator of passenger satisfaction. For both Qantas and Jetstar Airways to be recognised as two of the best reflects our investment in creating great travel experiences," said Mr Joyce.

"We now have one of the youngest fleets of any legacy airline in the world. We have invested in more training, new lounges and better on-board products. We pride ourselves on safety and on being the most on-time airline in Australia. The Skytrax result shows how these efforts add up to create a superior experience for passengers."

Qantas' worst result came last year in the wake of Joyce's grounding of the airlines fleet during an industrial dispute, which saw tens of thousands of passengers stranded without warning around the world.

A surprise result was also the continued rise of Garuda Airlines, which moved from number 11 to number 8. The airline, which was banned by the European Union from flying to Europe due to safety concerns until mid-2009, has made great efforts to improve its safety and service levels in recent years.

Turkish Airlines, which recently signalled its intention to become the world's first airline to fly non-stop between Australia and Europe, also made the top 10. Turkish Airlines is currently the fastest growing carrier in the world.

World's best airlines 2013 (click on the links to read our Flight Test reviews)

1. Emirates (Flight test: business class)

2. Qatar Airways (Flight test: business class)

3. Singapore Airlines (Flight test: economy class)

4. ANA All Nippon Airways

5. Asiana Airlines

6. Cathay Pacific (Flight test: premium economy class)

7. Etihad Airways (Flight test: business class)

8. Garuda Indonesia (Flight test: business class)

9. Turkish Airlines

10. Qantas (Flight test: business class)

Best inflight entertainment

1. Emirates

2. Singapore Airlines

3. Cathay Pacific

4. Turkish Airlines

5. Qatar Airways

6. Qantas

7. Virgin Atlantic

8. Etihad

9. Air New Zealand

10. Virgin Australia

Best cabin staff

1. Cathay Pacific Airways

2. Asiana Airlines

3. Malaysia Airlines

4. EVA Air

5. Singapore Airlines

6. ANA All Nippon Airways

7. Garuda Indonesia

8. Qatar Airways

9. Hainan Airlines

10. Thai Airways

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