25 October 2016
Air New Zealand soars above the rest. Photo:
Air New Zealand soars above the rest. Photo:

Air New Zealand named best airline of the year

Air New Zealand has been named the best airline for 2016 by 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 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. 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), (Middle-East/Africa) and Norwegian (Europe)

Best food – Qantas

Best in-flight entertainment – Singapore Airlines’s 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

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