ANZ dethrones SIA in "Top 20 airlines for 2020" list but retains...

ANZ dethrones SIA in “Top 20 airlines for 2020” list but retains “Best First Class Airline” title

The Kiwi airline has been performing well, having won the title five times before losing to Singapore's flag carrier last year.

Airline Excellence Awards by has just announced its picks for the Top 20 Airlines for 2020.

Air New Zealand was proclaimed the world’s best airline, dethroning the previous champ, Singapore Airlines (SIA). Besides being in second place worldwide, SIA has also been named “Best First Class Airline” for the third year in a row.

The Top 20 Airlines for 2020 list was released on Monday (Nov 25) by the Australia-based aviation website. The airlines that snagged the top five spots globally are Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines (SIA), All Nippon Airways (ANA), Qantas and Cathay Pacific, respectively.

The prestigious, best-in-the-skies award is judged by’s seven aviation editors. Decisions are based on 12 major criteria, including passenger reviews, operational safety, fleet age, product offerings, profitability and employee relations.

According to the website, the rating system is based on one to seven stars on safety—with seven being the highest ranking.

Within each airline, you will find the country of origin, airline code, booking URL and seat map information. The rating system takes into account a number of different factors related to audits from aviation’s governing bodies, lead associations as well as the airline’s own safety data.

To be placed anywhere in the top twenty airlines globally, an airline must achieve a seven-star safety rating and demonstrate leading ideas and implementation in innovation for passenger comfort.

The Kiwi airline has been performing well, having won the title five times before losing to Singapore’s flag carrier last year. This year, it has taken back first place, pushing SIA to the next best spot.

Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief at, said that New Zealand’s national carrier topped nearly every category this year, which is an “outstanding performance when it’s up against carriers with more resources and scale”.

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While SIA still maintained a high score, it was “excellent passenger feedback”, according to Aussie travel site Traveller, that propelled Air New Zealand to take the number one spot.

The recognition for Best Business Class Airline was given to Qatar Airways, which in June of this year beat SIA at the Skytrax World Airline Awards. They were also awarded’s Best Catering title.

Virgin Australia took the Best in Economy Class and Best Cabin Crew awards, while Emirates won for Best In-Flight Entertainment.

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Qantas Airways took home some awards as well—Best Domestic Airline Service and Best Lounges. Malaysia’s AirAsia and AirAsia X was awarded the title for Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia.’s Top 20 Airlines for 2020:

  1. Air New Zealand
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. Qantas
  5. Cathay Pacific
  6. Emirates
  7. Virgin Atlantic
  8. EVA Air
  9. Qatar Airways
  10. Virgin Australia
  11. Lufthansa
  12. Finnair
  13. Japan Airlines
  14. KLM
  15. Korean Airlines
  16. Hawaiian Airlines
  17. British Airways
  18. Alaska Airlines
  19. Deltar Air Lines
  20. Etihad Airways /TISG
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