Air NZ drops down world's best airline list

Last updated 13:00 13/07/2012

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Air New Zealand has dropped sharply down the ratings in the annual awards ranking the world's best airlines.

For the second year in a row, Qatar Airways took out the Airline of the Year award for best airline in the world.

Air New Zealand dropped to number 17 in the worldwide rankings after reaching 7th last year.

Across the tasman, Qantas fell out of the World Airline Awards' top 10 for the first time, dropping to number 15 from number eight last year. The airline's ranking has sunk every year since 2008, when it peaked at number three. This year's drop comes in the wake of last year's industrial dispute that saw CEO Alan Joyce ground the airline's entire fleet in October, affecting about 68,000 passengers worldwide.

Virgin Australia, conversely, has surged up the rankings 20 places, up to 12th spot from 32nd last year. Virgin Australia also took out the awards for best airline and best airline staff service in the Australia-Pacific region.

Among local budget airlines, Jetstar was named best low-cost carrier for Australia-Pacific.

The World Airline Awards are determined by passenger surveys conducted by research firm Skytrax, who surveyed 28 million passengers at airports around the world.

The awards were announced last night at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK.

Several other awards were announced, including best first-class seats (Cathay Pacific), best business-class seats (Oman Air), best inflight entertainment (Emirates) and best premium economy seats (Turkish Airlines).

World's best airlines 2012
Previous year's ranking in brackets.

1. Qatar Airways (1)  

2. Asiana Airlines (3)

3. Singapore Airlines (2)

4. Cathay Pacific Airways (4)

5. ANA All Nippon Airways (11)

6. Etihad Airways (6)

7. Turkish Airlines (9)

8. Emirates (10)

9. Thai Airways International (5)

10. Malaysia Airlines (12)

11. Garuda Indonesia (19)

12. Virgin Australia (32)

13. EVA Air (16)

14. Lufthansa (15)

15. Qantas Airways (8)

16. Korean Air (24)

17. Air New Zealand (7)

18. Swiss Int'l Air Lines (13)

19. Air Canada (21)

20. Hainan Airlines (23)

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- BusinessDay.com.au

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