World's best airline named as Qantas slips in rankings

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.

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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

8. Emirates

9. Thai Airways

10. Malaysia Airlines

Other awards announced included:

Best Low-Cost Airline Worldwide
AirAsia

Most Improved Airline
Garuda Indonesia

Best Cabin Staff
Singapore Airlines

Best Inflight Entertainment
Emirates

Best Airport Services
Thai Airways

Best Economy Class
Malaysia Airlines

Best Premium Economy Class
Qantas

Best Business Class
Qatar Airways

Best First Class
Etihad Airways

Best Airline: Transatlantic
Virgin Atlantic

Best Airline: Transpacific
Cathay Pacific

Best Airline: Australia/Pacific
Air New Zealand

Best Airline: Europe
Lufthansa

Best Airline: India/Central Asia
Kingfisher Airlines

Best Airline: Middle East
Qatar Airways

Best Airline: North America
Air Canada

Best Airline: South East Asia
Singapore Airlines

Best Airline Lounge - Business Class
Virgin Atlantic

Best Airline Lounge - First Class
Thai Airways

Best Airline Seat - Business Class
Singapore Airlines

Best Airline Seat - Economy Class
Kingfisher Airlines

Best Airline Seat - First Class
Etihad Airways

Best Airline Seat - Premium Economy Class
Qantas Airways

Best Low-Cost Airline Australia/Pacific
Virgin Blue

Best Onboard Catering - Business Class
Qatar Airways

Best Onboard Catering - Economy Class
Turkish Airlines

Best Onboard Catering - First Class
Etihad Airways

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