So, how was your flight? It’s the first question from the friends and relatives when you arrive at your destination. And comparing flight service, food and safety records is a favoured pastime for weary travellers and adventurers the world over.
So what are the world’s best airlines and which ones are the worst?
Each year, Skytrax conducts a survey of travellers to answer exactly that. Their annual World Airline Awards, also known as the Passengers’ Choice Awards, are considered the Oscars of the industry and are the most highly coveted gongs in the commercial plane game.
In the 2015 rankings, topped by Qatar Airways, our beloved Qantas is the only airline from outside of Asia to place in the top 10 (although, you could argue that Qantas is an Asian carrier and Turkey is arguably European, but you get the idea).
British Airways dropped from 17 to 20 while the top American carrier to appear on the list is Virgin America at 26.
Skytrax also rates airlines for their product and service out of five stars. The 2015 ratings put North Korea’s Koryo Air as the world’s worst airline for the fourth year running, the only one with a 1-star rating, due mainly to the questionable safety of its Soviet-era fleet.
The World’s Top 20 Airlines in 2015
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Cathay Pacific Airways [Hong Kong]
- Turkish Airlines
- Emirates [UAE]
- Etihad Airways [UAE]
- ANA All Nippon Airways [Japan]
- Garuda Indonesia
- EVA Air (Taiwan)
- Qantas Airways [Australia]
- Asiana Airlines [South Korea]
- Lufthansa [Germany]
- Swiss International Air Lines
- Air France
- Virgin Australia
- Air New Zealand
- Dragonair [Hong Kong]
- Thai Airways
- British Airways
See the full Skytrax 2015 Top 100 list, here
The World’s Worst 22 Airlines in 2015
Skytrax rated only one airline with 1-star, Koryo Air. There were then 22 companies rated with 2-stars. To put them in some kind of helpful order we have then listed them here according to their passenger review ratings. Note, though, that some airlines may have received just three or four reviews.
1. Koryo Air [North Korea]
Tajik Air [Tajikistan] (Passenger rating: 0/10)
Sudan Airways (Passenger rating: 1/10)
Syrianair (Passenger rating: 2/10)
Bahamasair (Passenger rating: 2/10)
Spirit Airlines [USA] (Passenger rating: 3/10)
Cubana Airlines (Passenger rating: 4/10)
Lion Air [Indonesia] (Passenger rating: 4/10)
Turkmenistan Airlines (Passenger rating: 4/10)
Yemenia (Passenger rating: 4/10)
Ukraine International Airlines (Passenger rating: 5/10)
Nepal Airlines (Passenger rating: 5/10)
Onur Air [Turkey] (Passenger rating: 5/10)
Pegasus Airlines [Turkey] (Passenger rating: 5/10)
Rossiya Airlines [Russia] (Passenger rating: 5/10)
Ryanair [Ireland] (Passenger rating: 5/10)
SmartWings [Czech Republic] (Passenger rating: 5/10)
Iran Air (Passenger rating: 5/10)
Biman Bangladesh (Passenger rating: 5/10)
Bulgaria Air (Passenger rating: 6/10)
Mahan Air [Iran] (Passenger rating: 7/10)
China United Airlines (Passenger rating: 8/10)
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