These Are The World's Best Airlines

Where to find the best service (and the comfiest seats)

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If you want to make sure you only fly with the very best next year, this latest airline ranking is a good place to start.

The annual assessment of the world's air carriers has been released by AirlineRatings.com and when it comes top-class passenger experience, there's one airline that continues to claim the number one spot.

For the fifth year in a row, Air New Zealand has received the best airline accolade, beating rivals Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia which were ranked inside the top five.

Air New Zealand has been named the world's best airline for a fifth year
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The assessment is based on 13 criteria, judging airlines on factors like passenger reviews, financial performance, fleet age, environmental leadership and staff management. To be named airline of the year, a carrier must have a seven-star safety rating and for airlines offering long-haul flights, the quality of premium economy and level of passenger comfort is crucial to the evaluation.

Air New Zealand - judged to have the best premium economy class - was commended for "continually innovating in all cabins," along with its super comfy flat beds.

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The airline was also praised for its "seemingly endless" innovations, particularly the wristbands which allow parents to keep track of their children when they're travelling alone. The judges commended the airline for being serious about minimising its impact on the environment, as well as looking after its staff.

Singapore Airlines has just launched some dreamy-looking business seats

Other category award-winners include Singapore Airlines, which was named as having the best first class service and the best cabin crew. When it comes to economy, Korean Air came out on top, while Qantas picked up the best catering award.

Here's the best airlines in the world list in full, ranked 1-10 according to AirlineRatings.com.

1. Air New Zealand

2. Qantas

3. Singapore Airlines

4. Virgin Australia

5. Virgin Atlantic

6. Etihad Airways

7. Nippon Airways

8. Korean Air

9. Cathay Pacific

10. Japan Airlines

And here are the category award-winners:

Airline of the Year: Air New Zealand

Best First Class: Singapore Airlines

Best Business Class: Virgin Australia

Best Premium Economy: Air New Zealand

Best Economy: Korean Air

Best Cabin Crew: Singapore Airlines

Best Catering: Qantas

Best Lounges: Qantas

Best In-flight Entertainment: Emirates

Best Domestic Class: Qantas

Regional Airline of the Year: Aegan Airlines (Greece)

Most Improved Airline: Tianjin Airlines (China)

Ultra-Low-Cost Airline: VietJetAir.com (Vietnam)

Best Long-Haul Airline: Etihad (for the Middle East and Africa), Korean Air (Asia-Pacific), Virgin Atlantic (Europe) and Air Canada (the Americas)

Best Low-Cost Airline: Westjet (the Americas), Scoot (Asia-Pacific) and Norwegian (Europe)

From: Cosmo UK