(CNN) — It’s been an unusual few years for the airline industry. After months of pandemic-related grounds, travel has returned not with a bang, but with a bit of wailing as many global airlines and airports struggle with cancellations and delays.
In the midst of this chaotic travel season, Australia-based aviation safety and product rating agency AirlineRatings.com has released its annual survey of the world’s top airlines.
Qatar Airways is in first place for the second year in a row and AirlineRatings.com states that the airline’s commitment to fly in recent years has been the deciding factor. Qatar Airways also won the Excellence in Long Haul – Middle East/Africa award.
Traveler options ranking
In addition to profitability, AirlineRatings.com says its team of editors also reviewed each airline’s age, environmental and safety credentials, passenger ratings, and product offerings.
On the heels of Qatar Airways is Air New Zealand, an airline that has topped the AirlineRatings list six times in recent years and also finished number two last year. For 2022, Air New Zealand was also recognized by AirlineRatings.com as the airline with the best premium economy and economy options, and the best option for long-haul travel in the Pacific region.
Number three on AirlineRatings.com’s list is Etihad Airways. The UAE-based airline also received the Environmental Airline of the Year award for what Thomas said was a “benchmark” commitment to reduce emissions.
The number four airline is Korean Air, which also won Cargo Airline of the Year and Excellence in Long Haul – Asia awards, while Singapore Airlines, winner of Best First Class and Best Lounges, rounds out the top five.
AirlineRatings.com also highlights the best budget airlines for 2022, although these low cost airlines are not ranked. Instead, they are listed alphabetically: Allegiant Air, AirAsia, easyjet, Jetstar, Flair, Fly Dubai, Ryanair, Scoot, Southwest, and VietJet Air.
Thomas told CNN Travel the results reflect the continued impact of Covid-19 on aviation, but the recent spike in delays and cancellations did not affect the rankings.
“The current travel crisis was not a factor because it is a unique event,” said Thomas, who suggested the current events are also “largely not from the airlines.”
Overall, Thomas views the rankings as a positive view of today’s travel industry.
“The results highlight the very high standard of the offering for travelers,” he said.
AirlineRatings.com’s 20 Best Airlines for 2022
1. Qatar Airways
2. Air New Zealand
3. Etihad Airways
4. Korean Air
5. Singapore Airlines
7. Virgin Australia
8. EVA Air
9. Turkish Airlines
10. All Nippon Airways
11. Cathay Pacific Airways
12. Virgin Atlantic
13. Japan Airlines
18. Air France/KLM
19. Alaska Airlines
20. British Airways