Qatar Airways takes top airline gong

Airline review site Skytrax has named the best airlines of the year at the Paris Air Show.

Qatar Airways beat Singapore Airlines to first place in the 2011 rankings, rising from third place, while Asiana dropped from the top of the table to take third place.

Cathay Pacific won fourth place in the overall rankings, while Thai Airways took fifth and Etihad took sixth at the awards, which were announced June 22.

The list of the top ten airlines in the world was notable for its lack of names from Europe and the Americas - four winners hailed from Asia, four from the Middle East/Africa and two from Oceania.

AirAsia was voted the world's best low-cost airline, while China Southern was voted the most-improved airline.

Its competitor, Hainan Airlines, took best Chinese airline only months after joining the exclusive club of the world's five-star airlines earlier this year.

For comfort at the airport, British Airways and Qatar Airways took prizes for business and first class respectively, although for comfort in the sky flyers may want to stick with Asiana Airlines, the recipient of the best cabin staff award.

Best in-flight entertainment went to Emirates for its ICE inflight entertainment system.

The awards were based on votes from 18.8 million airline customers from 100 different countries.

Top Ten Airlines 2011

1. Qatar Airways
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Asiana Airlines
4. Cathay Pacific
5. Thai Airways
6. Etihad Airways
7. Air New Zealand
8. Qantas Airways
9. Turkish Airlines
10. Emirates