Planning A Trip? These Are The Best Airlines In The World

Whenever you take a flight, you want to make sure that you end up on the best airline possible for your budget. And with so many options out there, you can usually find a great one after doing a little bit of researching. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the best airlines in the world. Next time you book a vacation, you’ll know exactly which one to go with.

The Award-Winning Singapore Airlines

a member of staff at the Singapore Airlines check in desk
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Singapore Airlines is renowned for having the best cabin crew and taking their customer service really seriously both in flight and on the ground. It won the award for the best cabin crew in the world in 2018, and also took home the best airline in Asia, the world’s best first class, and the world’s best first-class seat in 2018.

This is not bad for an airline that was only established in 1972 and is the national carrier of a pretty small country. It now operates in over 62 international countries and turns over about $11 billion per year — nice!

Read on for the oldest airline in the world

Qantas Has The Largest Fleet In Australia

Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas (centre with glasses) with team members
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Qantas is yet another airline that’s a pretty safe bet. It is the Australian airline with the largest fleet, and is one of the oldest airlines in the world. In fact, it comes in third after KLM and Avianca.

Its little sister airline JetStar offers cheaper and often shorter flights across Australia and beyond, however, Qantas is thought to be the more luxurious of the two. Flying Qantas when you’re on vthat side of the world is a pleasure.

Lufthansa Is The Largest Carrier Out Of Germany

Flight attendant Natalie Reis prepares the first class section for boarding
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You could argue that Lufthansa deserves more recognition than some of the others on the list. It is the largest airline in Europe when you consider the number of passengers carried, and is also the largest German carrier.

Unlike some of the other European airlines, Lufthansa doesn’t do super long-haul flights, and their top flight time is around 13 hours. This allows the airline to specialize in shorter flights and offer an amazing business and first class service that has won many awards in recent years.

China’s Hainan Airlines

Models wearing Hainan Airlines stewardess uniforms
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Another contender from China, Hainan Airlines is probably not as well known outside of China, however, the carrier is really popular and is one to watch as it branches out. This is a solely civilian-run airline and in fact is the biggest civilian-run airline in the world.

Hainan serves China’s longest flight domestically, at 14 hours. The CEO started from the bottom and used to serve passengers as a member of the cabin crew.

Virgin Atlantic Airlines Offers Travel Perks

Founder and President of Virgin Group Sir Richard Branson (C) arrives with Virgin America flight attendants at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
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Virgin is a British airline that trades as Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited. Founded by billionaire Richard Branson in 1970, it’s best for long flights from the UK to Australia and America at very good prices. This is not a luxury airline, however, it is one of the best from getting you to your destination.

Virgin always offers nice little extras too, like sleeping masks, toothbrushes, and crayons for children on long flights. Its staff is friendly and the airline is always a favorite with animal lovers.

Air Asia Has Great Budget Flight Options

Air Asia cabin crew pose at The India Aviation 2016 airshow

Air Asia is an excellent carrier for budget flights across Asia. Its main strength is that they are able to cover almost any area in Asia at a very reasonable price. Although the airline’s seats are not known to be the comfiest and the service is considered by some to be pretty standard, they do continually win awards for the best low-cost airline.

You’re not going to be flying in luxury, and you might have to pay for your extras like alcoholic drinks. However, if you want to get from A to B quickly and at a reduced cost, then Air Asia is the airline for you.

Fly Emirates For In-Flight Entertainment

A steward and stewardess welcome visitors at the bar in business class on board an Emirates A380 passenger plane
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Emirates is one of those airlines that consistently wins awards and has amazing passengers reviews, no matter what flight path it is. The company is known for its great customer service and in-flight entertainment. Last year it smashed the charts for in-flight entertainment — offering new releases, cinema movies, and Emirates-exclusive entertainment.

This is the flag carrier for Dubai and the airline is in fact owned by the Dubai government, which runs the sister company The Emirates Group. Interestingly, it is one of the most successful airlines in terms of revenue. Its growth has never dropped below 20%, except during its second year.

Thai Airways

Thai traditional dancers perform in fron

Thai Airways, as you would imagine, is the national flag carrier of Thailand. It is renowned for being the Asian airline that flies from Bangkok to pretty much anywhere in the world.

Whether you want a long haul flight, or a short flight within Thailand, Thai Airways is a great airline in terms of staff. The airline always wins awards for the best customer service on board and flies to over 35 countries, including Australia and the UK. It currently stands at ranking #10 in terms of the world’s best airlines.

The Queen Has Visited The British Airways HQ!

Queen Elizabeth II looks at exhibits in the Heritage Centre during her visit to the headquarters of British Airways in Heathrow
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British Airways is a top quality airline, known for its excellent service, great European routes and an ability to serve the perfect cup of tea. You’d hope that the company would be good at it considering that it’s the UK’s national airline. They serve over 35 million cups of tea on board each year!

They like to keep things classy onboard BA, which is why they have strict uniform and makeup requirements which even detail the shades of lipstick that are allowed to be worn. As you board and land you’ll hear the classical song “The Flower Duet” playing in the background for added finesse.

Cathay Pacific Was Founded By WWII Vets

The cabin crew of Cathay Pacific's CX722 received a Betsy Award in recognition of their performance in the flight diversion to Canton from the airline's Chief Executive John Slosar (centre) in Cathay City, Chek Lap Kok. 12JUL13
K. Y. Cheng/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

Cathay Pacific is another Asian airline, this time one that operates as the flag carrier of Hong Kong. It continually wins awards for innovation and technology, and is known for their in-flight entertainment and rapid expansion over the years.

The history of Cathay Pacific airlines is pretty interesting too. It was started by two ex-World War Two veterans from Australia and America. They decided that it was time that Hong Kong had a quality airline, and wanted to put their aviation knowledge to good use. Fun fact: they nicknamed their first plane Betsy.

Japan Airlines

New employees of Japan Airlines Group bow their heads during their entrance ceremony

Japan Airlines is known for its efficient service and is often used as an economy carrier around Asia. This is an international airline with bases in Tokyo and Osaka which has won multiple awards for its service.

It started flying in Japan and then branched out to America. The airline has an interesting history that includes being private at first, then being bought by the government, and then being released to a private company again. It launched post-war as a domestic airline, but has grown and now is used worldwide, offering amazing around-the-world trips.

China’s Largest: China Southern

Passengers get off the first flight of China Southern Airlines' Guangzhou-Urumqi-Vienna route
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Sometimes when you’re booking flights around Asia, or thinking of flying to China, it can be confusing as there are so many Chinese airlines. This makes sense, as it’s such a big country, but the one to remember is China Southern.

China Southern is China’s biggest airline and transports over 100 million passengers per year. In fact, it’s not only the biggest airline in China, but in all of Asia. Plus, it is the third largest carrier worldwide. China Southern’s size allows it to offer a great service throughout the world.

Air New Zealand Keeps Customers Happy

Air New Zealand celebrates New Zealand with the All Blacks in Chicago
Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images for Air New Zealand

In terms of economy service, Air New Zealand offers some of the best flights on the market. It’s won airline of the year for five years running at the Airline Ratings awards, and offers its passengers multiple flight paths around the world.

The best thing about Air New Zealand is that the company beloved by its passengers, which is a pretty good indicator of how well it’s doing. It was voted the best premium economy flight by TripAdvisor reviewers and travels to over 31 destinations worldwide.

Next: the oldest airline in the world

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

A KLM stewardess and Children play football in front of the KLM aeroplane branded for promotion of the forthcoming European Championships
Laurence Griffiths/ALLSPORT

KLM is considered to be the oldest airline in the world, and one of the most highly respected. Its 100 year anniversary is coming up in 2019, which is pretty impressive considering that the first flight ever was in 1903!

The company has been operating ever since 1919, and is the Royal Dutch Airline now renowned for quality. It flies to over 140 destinations across five continents and is always at the top of the leaderboard for economy flights. Fun fact about KLM: Most flight numbers with uneven numbers depart from Amsterdam and even numbers are return flights.

Qatar Still Offers Free Drinks And Snacks

Qatar Airways event for the inauguration of the flights QR205/206 connecting the capital of Qatar Doha to Greece's second largest city Thessaloniki.
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Qatar Airways is known for going out of their way to deliver great customer service. The airline has won multiple awards for their business class offerings, and is known for its delicious food and spacious seats.

Even in economy, the value for money is pretty impressive. Qatar offers free drinks and snacks on all long haul flights, and it has one of the highest staff-to-passenger ratios, meaning that you always get the best service possible while you fly across the skies.

American Airlines Hired Pioneers Female Pilots


American Airlines offers everything you’d expect from America’s national carrier. It’s well priced, efficient, and strong on customer service, which makes it the go-to airline for many Americans traveling around the U.S.

In terms of fleet size and revenue, American Airlines is reported to be the biggest airline in the world. As well as winning lots of awards for their service, American Airlines is known for pioneering female pilots and hired its first female pilot in 1973. She was only 24 years old at the time — impressive!

All Nippon Airways Has An Excellent Rewards Program


There’s a chance you may not have heard of this one, but ANA – or All Nippon Airways – has climbed to the top spots on lots of airline rankings. According to Skytrax, it is the third best airline in the world, and is the largest airline in Japan.

ANA is a core member of the Star Alliance, which features many of the best airlines in the world that collaborate to ensure that they deliver the best possible service worldwide. Its mileage club has over 33.6 million members and is renowned for being a great rewards program.

Evergreen Airways Is A Good Choice For Long Hauls

EVA Airways Chairman, and pilot, center, during the EVA Air Hello Kitty Shining Star Jet - Inaugural Event
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Founded in 1989, EVA stands for Evergreen Airways and is a Taiwanese company that operates in 40 international countries across five continents. The 2019 AirlinesRatings leaderboard saw EVA enter the top ten for the first time, and noticed it for its long haul capabilities.

EVA is a premium airline that brands itself as five-star all the way. This was the first airline to offer premium economy, bridging the gap between economy and business class. EVA is also recognized for its safety, known as the third safest airline in the world.

Swiss Airlines Offers Terrific Service Across Europe And The World

A cabin crew member welcomes guests inside Swiss International Air Lines' new Bombardier CS 100 passenger jetliner

Swiss Airlines is one of the most popular airlines in Europe and serves over 100 destinations all over the world. This is the national airline of Switzerland, and is committed to traditional Swiss values of quality and class.

It is part of the Star Alliance and the Lufthansa group, which allows the airline to deliver a premium service across Europe and the world. Its political neutrality has allowed it to partner with many airports and countries, which has aided in its expansion over the years since it was founded in 1931.

Philippine Airlines Was Awarded A Most-Improved Designation

A stewardess gives a safety procedures demonstration on board an Air Philippines plane
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Philippine Airlines — or PAL as it’s also known — isn’t usually one to make the top ten or twenty on the best airlines list, however, its improvements in recent years have meant that it has risen in popularity.

It’s the flag carrier of the Philippines and in 2019 was awarded the Most Improved Airline by Skytrax. It began trading in 1941, making it the oldest airline in Asia. It’s now on its way to becoming a premium airline, and is rebranding as a five-star airline with better seating, more routes, and an upgraded first class service.