These airlines are consistently a byword for in-flight excellence and service

Top Airlines in luxury air travel.

Cathay Pacific cabin

3.5 billion passengers take to the air each year. What is the best in luxury air travel? Which airlines offer the best in first, business premium, and economy class travel? According to airlineRatings.com editors who have examined the offerings and in-flight service of over 450 airlines Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific Airways, Etihad Airways and the Virgin Group are the constant winners in the Top 10 Airlines in luxury air travel.

Only two airlines — Qantas and Singapore Airlines — have made it into the Top Ten in each of the four categories (First Class; Business Class, Premium Economy, Long Haul Economy Class), while Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific Airways and Etihad made the Top Ten in three of the categories.

etihadfirstclasscabin
It was not surprising that Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific Airways, Etihad Airways and the Virgin Group featured so significantly in the Top Ten selections.

“These airlines are consistently a byword for in-flight excellence and service. They are the trendsetters and the industry looks to what they are doing next,” commented AirlineRatings Editor-In- Chief Geoffrey Thomas.

“Qantas invented business class in 1979, Singapore Airlines has led the industry in inflight entertainment and free drinks for all passengers, Virgin Atlantic was amongst the first with premium economy, Air New Zealand has won countless awards for its economy Skycouch and premium economy Spaceseat which it designed, while Etihad has reinvented first class,” added Thomas.

firstclass
The winners are (in alphabetical order):

  • First Class - the ultimate in luxury and space (multi room apartments, double beds, on board showers, more space, privacy, meal courses, the finest of drinks):

All Nippon Airways (ANA),
Emirates,
Etihad Airways,
Japan Airlines,
Korean Air,
Lufthansa,
Qantas,
Singapore Airlines,
Swiss,
Thai International.

  • Business Class – Top 10 business class cabins:

Air France,
Air New Zealand,
All Nippon Airways,
Cathay Pacific Airways,
Etihad Airways,
Japan Airlines, Qatar,
Qantas,
Singapore Airlines;
Virgin Australia/Atlantic.
Top 10 Premium Economy cabins:
“More space with a seat pitch of 36-38 inch, double the recline of economy class at 10-12 inch, slightly more seat width and in-seat power, Wi-fi, snack bar, a superior meal, and beverage service.”

Air France,
Air New Zealand,
All Nippon Airways,
British Airways,
Cathay Pacific Airways,
EVA Air,
Japan Airlines,
Qantas,
Singapore Airlines;
Virgin Atlantic/Virgin Australia.

  • Long Haul Economy Class:
    “a seat pitch of 31-34 inch, 6 inch recline, multiple complimentary meals and beverages”

Air New Zealand,
Cathay Pacific Airways,
Etihad,
EVA Air,
Japan Airlines,
Korean Air,
Qantas,
Qatar Airways,
Singapore Airlines;
Thai Airways.