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 aviation industry. In much of the northern hemisphere, the busy summer season was marred by delays and cancellations, while in the United States a new study this week found that airline passenger satisfaction is declining across the board.

However, 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 Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022 – the first time that the event was held in person since 2019.

Skytrax, a UK-based airline and airport review 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 current favorite airline in the world.

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 flag carrier also picked up eight more awards 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 hand luggage.

Just two months ago, the carrier took the No.1 slot in AirlineRatings.com’s ranking of the best airlines in the world.

The chief executive of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, thanked his “incredible employees” for “their continued dedication and drive” and said that “winning these awards in the same year that we celebrate our 25th anniversary is even more rewarding.”

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 in the airline.”

A regular on ‘best’ lists, Emirates was No.3 in Skytrax’s 2022 ranking.

Adam Scheck/AP

Singapore Airlines, the world’s new No.

Ryanair’s surprise

UAE flag-carrier Emirates was 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 World’s Cleanest Airline: no mean feat when two years of Covid-19 meant that customers were particularly concerned about hygiene and cleanliness standards. It also won four more awards, including Best Airport Services.

The Australian airline Qantas came in fifth place 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 award categories, while Turkish Airlines was the top carrier in Europe, taking home four awards, including the highly competitive title of Best Airline in Europe.

In one of the biggest shake-ups 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 Europe. This success with customers must be largely due to emerging this summer as one of the region’s more reliable airlines, canceling relatively few flights and even offering “rescue” flights in July and August to help people stranded by cancellations by their competitors.

Albertine Murasira, a flight attendant from RwandAir, which won the best airline staff service in Africa, said the award would encourage the carrier to raise standards further.

Because it’s an award for “best employees, this is a very big win for us,” she told CNN. “It will encourage us to continue for our passengers.”

Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, said that although the prices celebrated the best of aviation, the sector is still dealing with the stress of Covid, shortage of staff and fuel prices caused by the conflict in Ukraine.

“All in all, it hasn’t been the happiest of times in many ways,” he told the ceremony’s audience.

Airlines do not pay an entry or registration fee to be eligible for the prizes and all costs of the survey and prize event are paid by Skytrax. Visit the Skytrax site for the full list of winners.

The top 20 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 Air Lines

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

Worlds Best Cabin Staff

Singapore Airlines

Worlds Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness

ANA All Nippon Airways

Worlds Best Independent Airport Lounge

Plaza Premium

Worlds Best Business Class Lounge

Virgin Atlantic

Worlds Best Leisure Airline

SunExpress

Worlds Best Low-Cost Airline / Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia

AirAsia

Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe

Ryanair

Best Low-Cost Airline in North America

Southwest Airlines

Best Low-Cost Airline in Africa

FlySafair

Worlds Best Long Haul Low-Cost Airline

Shot

Worlds Best in Class Airlines

The World Best First Class Airline: Singapore Airlines

The world’s best business class airline: Qatar Airways

The World’s Best Premium Economy Class Airline: Virgin Atlantic

The world’s best economy class airline: Emirates