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Air New Zealand, Airline of the Year for 2016

AirlineRatings.com names Air New Zealand as Airline of the Year for 2016

Air New Zealand has been named Airline of the Year for 2016. Picture: AAP/Dan Himbrecht

FOR the third consecutive year, Air New Zealand has been named Airline of the Year for 2016 by AirlineRatings.com, the world’s leading safety and product rating review website.

The annual awards acknowledged Air New Zealand for its award winning in-flight innovations, record-breaking financial performance, operational safety, environmental leadership and motivation of its staff that have stamped the airline an industry trendsetter.

The airline was also awarded Best Premium Economy Class and Best Economy Class.

“Air New Zealand is an airline of first choice and given the airline’s location and the country’s size, its performance is stunning,” says Geoffrey Thomas,Airlineratings.com Editor-in-Chief.

“Air New Zealand’s focus on its staff has resulted in outstanding performance right across the airline at every touch point and the airline’s innovation continues to impress, including the recently launched tracking of unaccompanied children.”

Air New Zealand flight attendants in the newly launched Premium economy class. Picture: Supplied

Air New Zealand flight attendants in the newly launched Premium economy class. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Qantas jumped to second place up from fourth last year winning the categories of Best Lounges, Best Catering and Best Domestic Service. The new lounges in Hong Kong and Los Angeles were seen to raise the bar in travel as well as its commitment to its economy class offering, which makes up 90 per cent of passengers.

When it comes to luxury, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways was named Best First Class for its new upgraded product unveiled last year. “Etihad’s commitment to excellence appears to know no bounds. The airline’s new First Class and Business Class offerings are quite stunning and have set the bar even higher in luxury travel,” said Mr Thomas.

Singapore Airlines won Best Business Class and Best In-Flight Entertainment categories.

Virgin Australia won Best New World Carrier, an award that recognises the transformation that many airlines are trying to meet rapidly changing market demands. The airline and its partner Virgin Atlantic also picked up Best Cabin Crew.

Qantas Hong Kong lounge was credited with helping the airline secure second place.

Qantas Hong Kong lounge was credited with helping the airline secure second place.Source:Supplied

For excellence in Long Haul travel the editors selected Delta Air Lines (Americas), Lufthansa (Europe), Etihad Airways (Middle-East/Africa) and Cathay Pacific Airways for Asia/Pacific.

For value and safety in the Low Cost Airline sector the editors selected Virgin America (Americas), Norwegian (Europe), Kulula.com (Africa/Middle-East) and Scoot for Asia/Pacific.

Top 10 airlines for 2016

1. Air New Zealand

2. Qantas

3. Etihad

4. Cathay Pacific

5. Singapore Airlines

6. Emirates

7. EVA Air

8. Virgin Atlantic/Virgin Australia

9. All Nippon Airways

10. Lufthansa

Etihad Airways' first class suite was named best in the business.

Etihad Airways’ first class suite was named best in the business.Source:Supplied

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