What is the most important quality you look for in an airline? After a chaotic summer at Europe’s airports, punctuality is probably at the top.
But there is much more to a good experience in the air. After seven years at the top of the rankings, passengers say Qatar Airlines seems to have the recipe for success.
The national airline of the Gulf state was voted “World’s Best Airline” at the World Airline Awards 2022 last Friday. Known as the ‘Oscars of the Aviation Industry’, the competition is run by UK consultancy Skytrax, with all awards based on a global customer satisfaction survey.
“Qatar Airways has been the largest airline to fly continuously throughout COVID-19 Pandemicwhose network never falls below 30 targets, and that determination was clearly recognized by customers with this award,” says Skytrax’s Edward Plaisted.
The airline’s chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, commended the staff whose “uninterrupted commitment and dedication ensure that our passengers have the best possible experience when flying with Qatar Airways.”
Like any airline Qatar however, does not have an impeccable reputation. Its record of gender equality has frequently made headlines, particularly in relation to the airline’s predominantly female crew.
Until recently, women could be fired if they became pregnant. In 2018, Al Baker suggested that a woman could not hold his longtime job as chief executive. And in 2020, several passengers were forced to undergo an invasion gynecological examinations at Doha Airport.
What is the best airline in Europe?
European airlines did not dominate the global rankings, with only a handful making the top 10 overall.
Singapore Airlines ranked second among the top 20 airlines in the world – and also won the award for best cabin crew in the world.
UAE flag bearer Emirates ended up in third place, followed by Japan ANA All Nippon Airways on the fourth and Australia’s QantasAirways in fifth place. More than 350 airlines were included in the survey results.
The top rated European airline was Turkish Airlines, which ranked seventh with satisfied customers. Despite being canceled by the airline most flights sometime this summer, according to analysis by travel data company Mabrian.
AirFranceSwiss International Air Lines, British Airways, Lufthansa and KLM also made the top 20 and British Airways was the winner of Best Airline Staff Service in Europe.
The national airline of Latvia also triumphed in the awards. AirBaltic won the Best Airline in Eastern Europe, Most Improved Airline in Europe and Best Airline Staff in Eastern Europe awards for the first time.