Skytrax has just published its annual ranking of the best airlines in the world, with five European carriers featuring in the top 20.
Skytrax – an international organisation which grades air transport – publishes a ranking ever year of the best airlines in the world, based on the opinions of almost 20 million travellers from 105 countries and analysing 325 carriers via 49 criteria, ranging from the comfort of the seats to the boarding process, and of course including the quality of the service. The 2017 results come out very favourably for European carriers, in a ranking that is habitually dominated by Asian airlines. No fewer than five European companies feature in the top 20, with two in the top 10.
Here are the ten best European carriers at the moment, as reported by Businessinsider:
10th: Virgin Atlantic Airways (33rd overall)
The main shareholder of Virgin Atlantic Airways is Delta who own 49%, while the Virgin Group are down to 20% ownership. Nevertheless, the service, product and aesthetics – including the cabin crew’s uniforms and the violet-tinted ambient lighting – are all very much trademarks of Sir Richard Branson’s company.
9th: Aeroflot Russian Airlines (30th overall)
Russian company Aeroflot has updated its fleet with new Airbus and Boeing craft, and was named "Best airline in Eastern Europe" by Skytrax for 2017.
8th: Norwegian (28th overall)
Voted "Best low-cost airline in Europe", this Scandinavian company has played a role in bringing a simple economic model back to the commercial aviation sector over the past 10 years and has now also been named "Best low-cost airline in the world".
7th: Finnair (25th overall)
A jump of two places for the Finnish national carrier which is now 25th best airline in the world and was also named "Best airline in Northern Europe".
6th: KLM (22nd overall)
Amsterdam-based KLM – the oldest airline in the world still currently in service – is currently restructuring its fleet with the latest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and a new World Business Class cabin.
5th: Air France (18th overall)
This French carrier offers an excellent quality of service and has deployed a whole new range of luxury products, including the first-class "La Première" suites, despite facing problems with their workforce and their finances over the past two years.
4th: Austrian Airlines (17th overall)
This Austrian company belongs to Lufthansa and is a member of Star Alliance. It recently acquired a fleet of newly-renovated Boeing 767-300ERs and 777-200s for long-haul flights and won the award for "Best on-board service in Europe" for its efficiency, the variety of meal options and quality of its entertainment.
3rd: Swiss International Air Lines (14th overall)
The Basle-based carrier took over Swissair in 2002 and was the first to use the future Bombardier C-Series. Travellers appreciate its pleasant cabin-crew and large range of drinks, as well as free Swiss chocolate, which help them to overlook the slight lack of comfort in the economy class seats.
2nd: Turkish Airlines (12th overall)
This Turkish Star Alliance representative flies from its main hub in Istanbul to around 100 different countries and over 200 cities across the world. The high levels of quality provided by Turkish Airlines have not been affected by the political troubles that the country has undergone, with the airline winning "Best private business class lounge", "Best airline in southern Europe" and "Best airline for on-board catering and business class meals".
1st: Lufthansa (7th overall)
Lufthansa is the largest company in Europe and had already featured in the top 10 the past two years thanks to its service and the exceptional quality of its products. This time around, the German national carrier was named "Best airline in Europe" and "Best first-class lounge for an airline."
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