South Korea's Asiana Airlines has been named the best airline in the world by Skytrax at the 2010 World Airline Awards, which were unveiled May 20.
Asiana beat competitors such as Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways to take the prize, which was decided by a 10-month survey to which 17.9 million global air travelers contributed.
"This award represents a true recognition of the front-line product and service that Asiana Airlines is delivering to its customers," said Skytrax chairman Edward Plaisted.
"When evaluating the survey results, the real strength that was shining through for Asiana Airlines is their front-line staff. Across both the ground services environment at their home base at Incheon International Airport, and the exceptionally high quality and consistent cabin staff service, Asiana Airlines is setting a new world order when looking at the best airlines across the globe."
Singapore Airlines, a previous winner of the award on several occasions, was awarded second place and Qatar Airways came third.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad won a host of awards for its first class service, including World's Best First Class, Best First Class Airline Seat and Best First Class Onboard Catering.
The airline only introduced its new first class offering in 2009, which includes twelve private suites accessed by their own sliding doors, complete with personal wardrobes, mini-bars, and 23 inch wide-screen LCD screens.
"In 2008 we introduced a new Business Class product and we won the Skytrax award for Best Business Class so it is hugely satisfying, 12 months later, to introduce our new First Class Suite and to win the awards for Best First Class, Best First Class Seat and Best First Class Onboard Service," said Etihad's Peter Baumgartner.
Qatar Airways was awarded World's Best Business Class, whilst budget carrier AirAsia won the World's Best Low Cost Airline award for the second consecutive year.
AirAsia chief Tony Fernandes paid tribute to his "AirAsia AllStars", saying that the staff were the "foundation of AirAsia's success."
The onboard entertainment provided by Dubai-based Emirates was voted passengers' favourite, and Garuda Indonesia was judged to be the world's most improved airline.
The world's best airlines
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