Dubai: Emirates has been ranked in the top 10 best global airlines and has won the coveted award for the best long-haul Middle East flights.

The Airline Excellence Awards, judged by seven editors with over 200 years’ industry experience, combines major safety and government audits, with 12 key criteria that include: fleet age, passenger reviews, profitability, investment rating, product offerings, and staff relations.

Airline Ratings, the world’s only safety and product rating website, also honoured Emirates for the Best Inflight Entertainment (IFE) award for 2020.

“Emirates was one of the pioneers of IFE, and one of the first to install seatback videos in economy. Today’s IFE platform, ICE, is in a class of its own,” said Airline Ratings Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas.

Emirates inflight entertainment
Emirates flyers can now come up with their own playlists even before stepping onto the plane.Image Credit: Supplied

The airline of the year award went to Air New Zealand, which was honoured for its in-flight innovations, operational safety, environmental leadership and motivation of its staff.

air new zealand Image Credit: Supplied

“In our analysis, Air New Zealand came out number one in most of our audit criteria, which is an outstanding performance when it’s up against carriers with more resources and scale on this same list of best airlines for 2020,” said Thomas.

Qatar Airways once again picked up Best Catering and Best Business Class for its Qsuites.

Plush: Business class seats in Qatar Airways’ 787-8 Dreamliner with large windowsImage Credit: XPRESS/Virendra Saklani

“The airline’s Qsuite is a first-class experience in business class. It leaves little to chance, and our judges rated it as one of the best overall business-class products they had seen. It sets a standard to which some airlines can only aspire,” said Thomas.

Another new winner for the Airline Excellence Awards was Cebu Pacific, which picked up the Most Improved Airline award for 2020.

For Excellence in Long Haul travel:

Delta Air Lines (Americas), Lufthansa (Europe), Emirates (Middle-East/Africa) and Cathay Pacific Airways (Asia).

Best Low-Cost Airline:

JetBlue (Americas), Wizz (Europe) and AirAsia / AirAsia X (Asia/Pacific) and Air Arabia (Middle-East / Africa).

Top 20 airlines

This year, has exceeded its Top Ten to Top Twenty to recognise the many airlines passengers can choose from.

They are: Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Qantas, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, EVA Air, Qatar Airways, Virgin Australia, Lufthansa, Finnair, Japan Airlines, KLM, Korean Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, British Airways, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Etihad Airways.

India’s aviation regulator asked IndiGo to ground one unmodified Airbus SE A320neo plane for every new addition to its fleetImage Credit: Reuters

India’s aviation regulator asked IndiGo to ground one unmodified Airbus SE A320neo plane for every new addition to its fleet, impeding expansion at one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines.

IndiGo’s preparedness to modify its A320neo fleet by the stipulated Jan. 31 deadline didn’t instill “enough confidence,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said in a statement, after reviewing the company’s plans on Monday. The order will remain in force until all the engines in the fleet have been replaced.

IndiGo’s A320neo fleet is powered by engines made by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies. The Indian government asked IndiGo, the biggest customer of A320neo models, to fix all the Pratt & Whitney engines on its Airbus planes, following multiple incidents involving flights operated by the airline.

The substitution will help avoid “large-scale disruptions” caused by grounding the entire unmodified fleet, should the airline fail to amend them on time, the regulator said.

The new aircraft will fly on the same schedule as operated by the grounded plane, the regulator said. The grounded aircraft can be allowed a fresh schedule once its engines are replaced.

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