Asian airlines dominate in top-10 for 2019

Singapore girlThere are numerous airline rankings. Often they serve as entertainment or they are commercial business. Rankings may be based on subjective criteria, for example passenger reviews. Or they may be objective and based on statistics like on-time performance, involuntary denied boardings, the rate of mishandled baggage, etc.

Sort of rankings

Ranking lists in the category entertainment are usually those published by travel magazines. An example of a commercial ranking list is that of Skytrax that doles out a large number of awards at expensive galas in fancy hotels. But they also sell services to airlines, so there is an obvious conflict of interest.

The Airline Quality Rating (AQR) is one of the rare serious and independent ranking lists and is based on objective criteria. However, the AQR is limited to US carriers.

Top-10 and top-100 publishes each year a top-10. It released the 2019 ranking on November 13, 2018. The website used to base its ranking only on objective criteria, but currently it also includes passenger reviews. Obviously, this is a subjective criterion.

Skytrax also publishes each year a top-10, but in addition it also releases a top-100. considers it an illusion to think that you can accurately distinguish between carriers in the middle. Skytrax, however, pretends it is possible.

Different airline rankings

Interestingly, 6 of’s top-10 airlines also appear in the Skytrax top-10 although differently ranked. The exception is Singapore Airlines that tops both rankings. is based in Australia and includes 2 Australian and 1 New Zealand carrier in its top-10, whereas none of them are included in Skytrax's top-10. Thus, might be regionally biased.

Skytrax ranks Qantas #11 and Air New Zealand #17, while it does not even include Virgin Australia in its top-100. Virgin may not buy any of Skytrax's services.

Different regions

There are 5 Asian carriers in’s top-10 and 7 in the Skytrax top-10. Both rankings include 2 Middle East carriers. Only the Skytrax top-10 includes 1 European airline.

Unsurprisingly, no US airline made it to any of the top-10s. Both the top-10 of and Skytrax follow. top-10 Skytrax top-10
1. Singapore Airlines 1. Singapore Airlines
2. Air New Zealand 2. Qatar Airways
3. Qantas 3. All Nippon Airways (ANA)
4. Qatar Airways 4. Emirates
5. Virgin Australia c 5. EVA Air
6. Emirates 6. Cathay Pacific
7. All Nippon Airways (ANA) 7. Lufthansa
8. EVA Air 8. Hainan Airlines
9. Cathay Pacific 9. Garuda Indonesia
10. Japan Airlines 10 Thai Airways

Related: “The rise and fall of Skytrax

Tags: airlines, rankings

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