Air New Zealand named 'airline of the year' in travel review website's 2020 report

AirlineRatings.com – an Australian travel safety and review website – has named Air New Zealand as its “airline of the year,” in part due to the carrier’s “record-breaking performance” and “environmental leadership,” according to the website.

Air New Zealand takes over the top spot from Singapore Airlines, which was awarded the website’s 2019 “airline of the year” honor. Air New Zealand, however, had previously held that title in five other years.

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“In our analysis, Air New Zealand came out number one in most of our audit criteria, which is an outstanding performance when it’s up against carriers with more resources and scale on this same list of best airlines for 2020,” said AirlineRatings.com Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas in a press release.

Air New Zealand re-took the top spot from Singapore Airlines on AirlineRatings' 2020 list.

Air New Zealand re-took the top spot from Singapore Airlines on AirlineRatings' 2020 list. (iStock)

The aforementioned criteria include passenger reviews, company profitability, staff relations and the age of the aircraft in a carrier’s fleet, among other factors, according to the website.

In addition to Air New Zealand, several other airlines were honored in AirlineRatings’ 2020 “Airline Excellence Awards.” Among them were Singapore Airlines, which won the site’s “First Class” award for its first-class suite-style cabins, as well as Qantas, which earned the site’s award for “Best Catering,” “Best Business Class,” “Best Domestic Airline Service” and “Best Lounges.” Virgin Australia was also honored with “Best Economy” and “Best Cabin Crew,” and Emirates earned “Best Inflight Entertainment” and “Best Long-Haul Middle East.”

Air New Zealand, meanwhile, also took the award for “Best Premium Economy.”

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Aside from Air New Zealand, which took the top spot, AirlineRatings.com recognized 19 other airlines — which they called the “top twenty”  — as part of its Airline Excellence Awards:

  1. Air New Zealand
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. Qantas
  5. Cathay Pacific Airways
  6. Emirates
  7. Virgin Atlantic
  8. EVA Air
  9. Qatar Airways
  10. Virgin Australia
  11. Lufthansa
  12. Finnair
  13. Japan Airlines
  14. KLM
  15. Korean Airlines
  16. Hawaiian Airlines
  17. British Airways
  18. Alaska Airlines
  19. Delta Air Lines
  20. Etihad Airways

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A representative for AirlineRatings.com not immediately available to elaborate on the criteria for judging, or the eligibility of specific airlines.