Air New Zealand has been named the best airline for 2016 by AirlineRatings.com in its annual Airline Excellence Awards.
The Kiwi carrier was praised as an “industry trendsetter”.
“The innovation at Air New Zealand continues to dazzle, and the airline has rolled out some stunning new technology, including innovative tracking of unaccompanied children and a wonderful app to get you a perfect cup of coffee before your flight,” said AirlineRatings.com editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas.
Air New Zealand was also applauded for pioneering new seat technology like the Premium Economy Spaceseat, designed so the person in front can’t lean into a passenger’s space, and the Skycouch, which is a row of three economy seats with footrests that lift up to create a flexible space for young families or couples traveling together, Fox News reported.
Australia’s Qantas bagged second place overall.
AirlineRatings.com pointed to such customer-friendly innovations as upgrading lounges in Los Angeles and Hong Kong, great access to broadband internet and four main meal options for economy travelers.
The website also released winners in specialized categories:
Best luxury travel – Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines
Best economy class – Air New Zealand
Best low-cost airlines — Virgin America (the Americas), Scoot (Asia/Pacific), kulula.com (Middle-East/Africa) and Norwegian (Europe)
Best food – Qantas
Best in-flight entertainment – Singapore Airlines
AirlineRatings.com’s top 10 airlines for 2016:
1. Air New Zealand
4. Cathay Pacific
5. Singapore Airlines
7. EVA Air
8. Virgin Atlantic/Virgin Australia
9. All Nippon Airways
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