Editor’s Note — Sign up for Unlocking the World, CNN Travel’s weekly newsletter. Get news about opening and closing destinations, inspiration for future adventures, plus the latest in aviation, food and drink, where to stay and other travel developments.London (CNN) — From Covid to chaos, it’s been another bumpy year for the aerospace industry. Across much of the Northern Hemisphere, the busy summer season has been plagued by delays and cancellations, while in the United States, a new study this week found that airline passenger satisfaction is declining across the board.
But as we enter the quieter travel months of September and October, there was cause for celebration in London on Friday when industry leaders gathered at the Langham Hotel for the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022 – the first time the event had been held in person since 2019.
Skytrax, a UK-based airline and airport rating and ranking site, conducted more than 14 million customer surveys in more than 100 countries between September 2021 and August 2022 to find out the world’s current favorite airline.
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 introduced in 1999. The Qatari flagship carrier also bagged eight more gongs on Friday, including Best Business Class, Best Business Class Seat and Best Business Class Lounge Dining. That’s going to be a lot to take back in hand luggage.
Just two months ago, the airline took the No. 1 position in AirlineRatings.com’s ranking of the world’s best airlines.
Qatar Airways Group Director Akbar Al Baker thanked his “incredible associates” for “their continued dedication and drive” and said that “winning these awards in the same year we celebrate our 25th anniversary is even more worth it.”
Shortly after receiving the award, he told CNN Travel that the secret to the airline’s continued success was “Consistent service, consistent product, consistent attention to passengers and absolute dedication from everyone who works at the airline.”
Emirates has been regularly on the “best of” lists and ranked number 3 in Skytrax’s 2022 ranking.
Singapore Airlines, the world’s new No. 2 airline 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.
UAE flagship Emirates finished in third place and was also awarded Best Inflight Entertainment, Best Economy Class, Best Economy Class Catering and Best Premium Economy Class Seat.
Japan’s ANA (All Nippon Airways) came in at number 4 and was also named the world’s cleanest airline: no mean feat when two years of Covid-19 have made customers particularly aware of hygiene and cleanliness standards. It also won four more awards, including Best Airport Services.
Australian airline Qantas came fifth in the survey of more than 350 airlines, conducted in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese.
Delta Air Lines was the leading airline in the US, winning six region-specific awards, while Turkish Airlines was the largest airline in Europe, taking home four awards, including the highly competitive title for best airline in Europe.
In one of the biggest upheavals of the day, Irish airline Ryanair – never afraid of controversy in its 37-year history – triumphed at the awards for the first time, claiming the crown for Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe. This success with customers must be due in large part to the fact that it emerged this summer as one of the more reliable airlines in the region, canceling relatively few flights and even offering ‘rescue flights’ in July and August to help those stranded by cancellations. by their competitors.
Albertine Murasira, a flight attendant from RwandAir who won the award for best airline personnel in Africa, said the award would encourage the airline to further raise standards.
Because it’s an award for “best employees, this is a big win for us,” she told CNN. “It will encourage us to continue to look after our passengers.”
Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, said that while prices celebrated the best of aviation, the industry was still dealing with pressures from Covid, staff shortages and increases in fuel prices due to the conflict in Ukraine.
“All in all, it hasn’t been the happiest of times in many ways,” he told the ceremony audience.
Airlines do not pay any entry or registration fees to qualify for the awards and all costs of the survey and awards event are paid by Skytrax. Visit the Skytrax site for the full list of winners.
The world’s top 20 airlines in 2022, according to Skytrax
1. Qatar Airways
2. Singapore Airlines
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
16. Cathay Pacific
18. EVA Air
19. Virgin Atlantic
Qantas is the Australian flag bearer and number 5 on this year’s list.
Tino Plunert/dpa/photo alliance/AP
The World’s Best Cabin Crew
World’s Best Airline Cabin Hygiene
ANA All Nippon Airways
The world’s best independent airport lounge
The world’s best business class lounge
The World’s Best Leisure Airline
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
Best low cost airline in Africa
The world’s best low-cost long-haul airline
The World’s Best Airlines
The best first class airline in the world: Singapore Airlines
The World’s Best Business Class Airline: Qatar Airways
World’s Best Premium Economy Class Airline: Virgin Atlantic
World’s Best Economy Class Airline: Emirates