Air New Zealand has been named the best airline in the world for the fourth consecutive year at the 2017 Airline Excellence Awards.
The airline perhaps best known for its funny inflight videos also scooped best premium economy class for the third time.
The awards, created by airlineratings.com, rank the inflight experience across airlines in categories including entertainment, catering and cabin crew.
Air New Zealand was praised for its inflight innovations, which in the past have included “cuddle class” seating for affectionate passengers. It was also hailed for its financial performance, environmental leadership and motivation of staff.
Etihad picked up the best first-class cabin award – the luxurious Middle Eastern airline is, after all, the home of the “First Apartment”, which offers both a wide leather armchair and a lie-flat bed. Singapore Airlines was honoured for having the best economy cabins.
Australian airline Qantas came second in the Airline of the Year category, jumping from fourth place last year.
Cathay Pacific came fourth after Singapore Airlines in third place, while Virgin Atlantic/ Virgin Australia jumped three places, taking the number five position.
These are the world’s top airlines, according to the awards by the Australia-based website:
1. Air New Zealand
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Cathay Pacific
5. Virgin Atlantic/Virgin Australia
6. British Airways
7. Etihad Airways
8. All Nippon Airways
9. Eva Air