The world’s best airlines for 2022, according to Skytrax

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London (CNN) — From Covid to chaos, it’s been another bumpy year for the airline industry. Delays and cancellations plagued much of the northern hemisphere’s busy summer season, while in the United States a new study this week found that airline passenger satisfaction is generally declining.

But as we head into the quieter travel months of September and October, there was cause for celebration in London on Friday as industry leaders gathered at the Langham Hotel for the 2022 Skytrax World Airline Awards – the first time the event has been held in person since 2019 instead of.

Skytrax, a UK-based airline and airport rating and ranking website, conducted more than 14 million customer surveys in more than 100 countries between September 2021 and August 2022 to find out the world’s most popular airline at the moment.

This year’s winner was no stranger to the podium. Newly crowned Qatar Airways has won the top prize a total of seven times since the awards were launched in 1999. The Qatari airline won eight more gongs on Friday, including Best Business Class, Best Business Class Seat and Best Business Class Lounge-Dining. That will be a lot to bring back through carry-on luggage.

Just two months ago, the airline took first place in’s ranking of the world’s best airlines.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker thanked his “incredible employees” for “their continued commitment and dedication” and said that “it is even more rewarding to win these awards in the same year that we celebrate our 25th celebrating an anniversary”.

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Shortly after receiving the award, he told CNN Travel the secret of the airline’s continued success is: “Consistent service, consistent product, constant attention to passengers and total dedication from everyone who works at the airline.”

A regular at "the best of" Lists ranked Emirates 3rd in Skytrax's 2022 rankings.

Emirates is a regular ‘Best of’ list and was ranked 3rd in the 2022 Skytrax rankings.

Adam Scheck/AP

Singapore Airlines, the new No. 2 airline in the world according to Skytrax’s survey, also won nine awards, including Best Cabin Staff, Best First Class, Best First Class Seat and Best First Class Catering.

Ryanair’s surprise

The airline of the UAE, Emirates, took third place and was also recognized for Best Inflight Entertainment, Best Economy Class, Best Catering in Economy Class and Best Seat in Premium Economy Class.

Japan’s ANA (All Nippon Airways) came in 4th and was also named the cleanest airline in the world: not an easy task considering that after two years of Covid-19, customers are paying particular attention to hygiene and cleanliness standards. It also won four other awards, including Best Airport Services.

Australian airline Qantas ranked fifth in the survey of more than 350 airlines conducted in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese.

Delta Air Lines was the No. 1 airline in the US, winning six region-specific award categories, while Turkish Airlines was the best airline in Europe, taking home four awards including the highly competitive title of Best Airline in Europe.

In one of the day’s biggest shocks, Irish airline Ryanair – which in its 37-year history has never been afraid to stir up controversy – triumphed at the awards for the first time, taking the crown for Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe. That success with customers is due in large part to the fact that this summer it has proven to be one of the region’s most reliable airlines, canceling relatively few flights and even offering “rescue flights” in July and August to help people who are dying stranded by the cancellation of their competitors.

Albertine Murasira, a RwandAir flight attendant who received the award for best airline staffing service in Africa, said the award would encourage the airline to keep raising standards.

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Because it’s an award for “the best people, it’s a very big win for us,” she told CNN. “It will encourage us to continue to take care of our passengers.”

Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted said that while the industry honored aviation’s best, the industry was still grappling with the strain of Covid, staff shortages and fuel price hikes caused by the conflict in Ukraine.

“All in all, it wasn’t the happiest of times in a lot of ways,” he told the ceremony audience.

Airlines pay no entry or registration fee to qualify for the awards and all costs of the survey and awards event are borne by Skytrax. The full list of winners can be found on the Skytrax website.

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The 20 best airlines in the world in 2022 according to Skytrax

1. Qatar Airways

2.Singapore Airlines

3. Emirates

4. ANA (all Nippon Airways)

5. Qantas Airways

6. Japan Airlines

7. Turkish Airlines

8. Air France

9. Korean Air

10. Swiss International Airlines

11. British Airways

12. Etihad Airways

13. China Southern Airlines

14. Hainan Airlines

15. Lufthansa

16. Cathay Pacific

17. KLM

18. EVA Air

19. Virgin Atlantic

20. Vistara

Qantas is Australia's flag carrier and number 5 on this year's list.

Qantas is Australia’s flag carrier and number 5 on this year’s list.

Tino Plunert/dpa/picture-alliance/AP

The best cabin crew in the world

Singapore Airlines

The best cabin cleanliness in the world

ANA All Nippon Airways

The world’s best independent airport lounge

Plaza Premium

The world’s best business class lounge

Virgin Atlantic

The best leisure airline in the world


World’s Best Low-Cost Airline/Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia


Best low cost airline in Europe


Best Low Cost Airline in North America

Southwest Airlines

Best Low Cost Airline in Africa


The world’s best long-haul low-cost airline


The world’s best airlines

The world’s best first class airline: Singapore Airlines

The best business class airline in the world: Qatar Airways

The world’s best premium economy class airline: Virgin Atlantic

The world’s best economy class airline: Emirates

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