Skytrax Awards Crown The Best Airlines In 2016 – Emirates Makes First Rank!


The annual Skytrax awards are out again, naming the ‘worlds best airlines’ after conducting surveys among passenger and this year the first place goes to Emirates.

Airline Ranking 2016.jpgQatar Airways made second and Singapore Airlines third place for Best Airline Worldwide while others got their awards in different niches.

Skytrax is an established British Consulting Firm that offers services and market research in the aviation sector (you can access their website here).

Over the years I have personally participated in many surveys Skytrax conducted at airports all over the World as well as online. The results of these surveys are then processed and then the winners are announced.

CNN Money (access here) reported about the 2016 awards simultaneously to the Farnborough Air Show.

The world’s best airline for 2016 is Emirates, according to a survey of millions of airline passengers conducted by Skytrax.

The international airline, based in Dubai, won the top honors at Tuesday’s Skytrax World Airline Awards ceremony at the Farnborough International Airshow in England.

As jet engines screamed from the Farnborough airfield and thousands of visiting aviation geeks explored the airshow, smiling flight attendants dressed in brightly colored uniforms stepped to the stage as each award was announced. The survey underscores the consistency of the quality service among the world’s top carriers, said Edward Plaisted, Skytrax CEO.

“The Middle East airlines have continued to dominate,” Plaisted said after the ceremony. “Virgin America continues dominating on the customer side in North America. Turkish Airlines is a big favorite.”
The awards run the gamut from 73 categories from best economy class onboard catering to best airline staff to best seats to best cabin cleanliness.

The first award category includes the Top 10 Worldwide:

1. Emirates
2. Qatar Airways
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Cathay Pacific
5. ANA All Nippon Airways
6. Etihad Airways
7. Turkish Airlines
8. EVA Air
9. Qantas Airways
10. Lufthansa

I think this ranking is realistic keeping in mind that the surveyed passengers are a mix of all service classes and Emirates offers a very solid product especially in Economy Class but also Business and First on the A380. Qatar is very good on the ground with their nice Business and First Class Lounges as well as in the air in these two service classes. I find Economy with Qatar horrible though and their designated lounged for Economy Class Passengers that hold oneWorld status are a joke. Emirates treats their status passengers much better in that regard. Singapore Airlines still offers a very solid product in all three classes though I’m getting tired of Changi Airport and the lack of proper ground services for premium passengers to be honest.

The Niche Awards included the following winners:

Transatlantic Airline: Lufthansa
Transpacific Airline: Eva Air
North American Regional Airline: Porter Airline
Airline Staff in Asia: ANA Airlines
Regional European Airline: Aegean
Airline lounge: Star Alliance
Airline in Southern Europe: Turkish Airlines
Airline in Northern Europe: FinnAir
Airline in Western Europe: Lufthansa
Airline in Eastern Europe: Aeroflot
Airline in Africa: South African Airways
Airline in Australia/Pacific: Qantas
Airline in Central Asia: Air Astana
Airline in China: Hainan Airlines
Airline in Central America/Caribbean: Copa Airlines
Airline in S. America: LAN Airlines
Airline in N. America: Virgin America
Airline in Asia: Singapore Airlines
Airline in Middle East: Emirates
Airline in Europe: Turkish Airlines
Low-cost airline in Australia & Pacific: JetStar Airways
Low-cost airline in Asia: AirAsia
Low-cost airline in Central Asia & India: IndiGo
Low-cost airline in China: Spring Airlines
Low-cost airline in South America: Azul Brazil
Low-cost airline in North America: Virgin America
Low-cost airline in Europe: Norwegian
Lounge dining business class: Turkish
First class lounge dining: Air France
Airline staff service Africa: Ethiopian Airlines
Airline staff service Aus Pac: Qantas

The last one, Airline Staff Service in Austral-Pacific, is one of the outliers here because from personal experience I find Qantas staff absolutely horrible. In that region Air New Zealand wins hands down. Then again, maybe not enough Air New Zealand supporters participated in the surveys and you come up with this result.

For many years now they are giving out awards to Airlines and Airline Products in certain categories which the companies use for advertisement as ‘seal of approval’ and to display product quality. It appears though that these award categories sometimes moved into very narrow and hideous corners so that not many options are available other than giving the award to one specific company or facility.


The winners of this years awards are mostly deserved and reflect (in my opinion) the current product quality of the airlines named, though I can’t comment personally on South and Middle America as I haven’t traveled there for the last 2 years.

Congrats to the winners!

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