Air New Zealand named airline of the year by AirlineRatings.com for the fourth year in a row

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Air New Zealand has pipped Qantas and Singapore Airlines to be named airline of the year for the fourth year running.

AirlineRatings.com said Air New Zealand was being honoured for its record-breaking financial performance, award-winning inflight innovations, operational safety, environmental leadership and motivation of its staff.

"These factors have stamped the airline as an industry trendsetter," the announcement said.

The website's Airline Excellence Awards programme combines international industry and government audits, as well as key criteria including fleet age, passenger review ratings, profitability, investment rating and key product offerings, to come up with the result.

"In our objective analysis Air New Zealand came out number one in virtually all of our audit criteria, which is an exceptional performance," AirlineRatings.com editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas said.

Air New Zealand managed to edge out Australian rival Qantas in the overall ranking, which was awarded the titles of best domestic airline service, best catering and best lounges.

Virgin Australia was named the best airline for cabin crew service and best business class for its new business class seat.

"Virgin Australia's cabin crew treat every passenger whether in row 1 or at the back of the aircraft as a special guest," Thomas said. 

Airline Ratings' list differed significantly from the other major airline ratings awards from Skytrax, which put Emirates at number one and Qatar Airways at number two. Singapore Airlines was third and Cathay Pacific fourth in both lists.

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TOP 10 AIRLINES FOR 2016 (click on the links for Traveller's reviews)

1. Air New Zealand (Review: Premium economy class)

2. Qantas (Review: business class)

3. Singapore Airlines (Review: A350 business class)

4. Cathay Pacific (Review: Business class)

5. Virgin Atlantic/Virgin Australia (Review: New business class)

6. British Airways (Review: Business class)

7. Etihad Airways (Review: Economy class)

8. All Nippon Airways

9. Eva Air

10. Lufthansa

with Stuff.co.nz

See also: The perfect airline named

See also: Why no-one flies first class anymore

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