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Farnborough: Cathay Pacific named world's best airline

New Zealand air travellers have direct access to three of the world’s top four airlines.

The 2014 Skytrax World's Best Airline awards have been announced at the Farnborough International Airshow in England.

Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways was selected the best based on 18.85 million customer surveys collected between August 2013 and May 2014.

Two other international airlines serving New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Emirates, were placed third and fourth.

Second was Qatar Airways, which flies only as far as Australia from its Doha hub.

Air New Zealand was placed 16th behind Qantas (11th) and Virgin Australia (15th). Malaysia Airlines, operator of missing Flight MH370, was in the top 20 at 18th.

In other categories Air New Zealand was eighth for its inflight entertainment system, with Emirates top and Singapore Airlines second.

Singapore Airlines was top for its first class cabin and third for business class.

Cathay Pacific was second for its cabin crew and business class, as well as fourth for its first class and fifth for economy..

Cathay Pacific also scored third for both its first class and business lounges.

Jetstar was voted fourth among the world’s low-cost carriers and top in the Australia-Pacific region.

Qantas was top full service operator in Australia-Pacific, ahead of Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Fiji Airways.

The 2014 World Airline Awards survey involved more than 105 nationalities and covered 245 airlines. The surveys measure standards across 41 key performance indicators of airline frontline product and service.

More by Nevil Gibson

Comments and questions

Having only flown Cathay Pacific economy once recently, I vowed never again. I thought I was back in the '70s. So, this accolade is a real surprise to me.
I agree that Qantas has overtaken Air New Zealand on international flights.

Spot on Can't believe it! Cathay Pacific definitely on my 'never again' list. Together with my wife we experienced atrocious service and other problems on both forward and return flights to HK and interestingly the issues were different each way which confirmed to us that their slackness is endemic. Final straw was trying to deal with them after our return and lodging formal complaints.

Perhaps the very pompous, cost-slasher-price-gouger Air NZ md will now realise that he's not as smart as his PR people tell him he is and the locals aren't prepared for his retailing ways -- esp since their loyalty counts for ZIP.
It's one thing to be behind Qantas, which has been struggling, but United and BA cannot be far away if Virgin is ahead of us too!

You are correct - BA comes in 17th after Air NZ but no US airline makes the top 20 in this Euro-centric survey. Turkish and Garuda are 5th and 6th, which may surprise some, while Etihad 9, Lufthansa 10, Swiss 13, Thai 14 are a few that Kiwis regularly use.