South Korea's Asiana Airlines has been named the airline of the year at the annual World Airline Awards.
Qantas lost another spot in the 2010 awards announced last night in Hamburg, Germany, dropping to seventh place, down from sixth last year. In 2008, it was rated the world's third best airline.
The annual awards by Skytrax are based on surveys with more than 17 million passengers, carried out over 10 months.
Passengers rate airlines on customer service, comfort of seating, quality of food, lounges and cabin crew.
Air New Zealand overtook Qantas to become the best rated airline in the Australia/Pacific region, climbing from eighth last year to fifth this year.
Last year's top airline, Cathay Pacific slipped back to fourth place, while Singapore maintained its spot as the number two airline.
Asiana ranked third last year. Skytrax chairman Edward Plaisted praised the airline's commitment to customer service. “Asiana Airlines are clearly meeting and exceeding their customers' expectations,” he said.
Asian airlines dominated the award categories, with the full service airlines joined by AirAsia winning the Best Low-Cost Airline award and Garuda Indonesia picking up the Most Improved award.
Qantas took out two awards for its premium economy class – Best Premium Economy and Best Premium Economy Seat. Virgin Blue also received an award for best low-cost carrier in the Australia/Pacific region.
The final top 10 ranking in the awards were:
1. Asiana Airlines
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Qatar Airways
4. Cathay Pacific
5. Air New Zealand
6. Etihad Airways
7. Qantas Airways
9. Thai Airways
10. Malaysia Airlines
Other awards announced included:
Best Low-Cost Airline Worldwide
Most Improved Airline
Best Cabin Staff
Best Inflight Entertainment
Best Airport Services
Best Economy Class
Best Premium Economy Class
Best Business Class
Best First Class
Best Airline: Transatlantic
Best Airline: Transpacific
Best Airline: Australia/Pacific
Air New Zealand
Best Airline: Europe
Best Airline: India/Central Asia
Best Airline: Middle East
Best Airline: North America
Best Airline: South East Asia
Best Airline Lounge - Business Class
Best Airline Lounge - First Class
Best Airline Seat - Business Class
Best Airline Seat - Economy Class
Best Airline Seat - First Class
Best Airline Seat - Premium Economy Class
Best Low-Cost Airline Australia/Pacific
Best Onboard Catering - Business Class
Best Onboard Catering - Economy Class
Best Onboard Catering - First Class