SIA loses 'airline of the year' title to Air New Zealand, but retains best first class award

SIA clinched runner-up instead at the Airline Excellence Awards.

Syahindah Ishak | November 26, 2019, 08:49 PM

Singapore Airlines (SIA) fell to second spot after failing to retain the airline of the year title in AirlineRatings' Airline Excellence Awards.

SIA wins 'Best First Class Airline'

Despite that, SIA clinched the 2020 'Best First Class Airline' for its premium suites.

The airline won the same award in 2019 too.

AirlineRatings described the Skyroom suites in the upper deck of SIA's Airbus A380s to be the equivalent of small hotel rooms.

AirlineRatings also said "there is little surprise that Singapore Airlines has won Best First Class Airline because it has always been a first-class airline".

Air New Zealand wins airline of the year

The world’s best airline for 2020 was awarded to Air New Zealand.

This is the sixth time the airline has been given the top award.

Air New Zealand also bagged the 'Best Premium Economy' accolade, its sixth time claiming the award.

Here are the rest of the top 20:

  • All Nippon Airways
  • Qantas
  • Cathay Pacific Airways
  • Emirates
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • EVA Air
  • Qatar Airways
  • Virgin Australia
  • Lufthansa
  • Finnair
  • Japan Airlines
  • KLM
  • Korean Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Etihad Airways

How the airlines were judged

The list of winners were decided by a panel of seven judges with more than 200 years of aviation experience between them.

The judges hail from the United States, France, United Kingdom and Australia.

The airlines are assessed on 12 key criteria, including customer reviews, product offerings, safety, fleet age, profitability and environmental leadership.

AirlineRatings editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas said that Air New Zealand remains on top in virtually every category, which is an "extraordinary achievement".

Top photo via SIA.