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Surprise Winner Of ‘World’s Best Airline’ Awards For 2020

Who needs a World Cup anyway?

Their countrymen may not have made it to the World Cup final, but in a consolation prize of sorts, Air New Zealand has been named 2020 Airline of the Year by

While this is the sixth time the airline has flown in at number one in’s Airline Excellence Awards, given the publicity carriers like Qantas, Qatar and Singapore Airlines have generated this year, it is somewhat of a surprise to see the kiwis return to winning ways.

So, on what basis is the title awarded?’s panel of seven judges, who have more than 200 years’ of aviation experience between them, assess airlines on 12 key criteria, including customer reviews, product offerings, safety, fleet age, profitability and environmental leadership.


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The judges come from the United States, France, United Kingdom and Australia. editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas says Air New Zealand remains on top in virtually every category, which is no mean feat considering the competition.

“Air New Zealand is a clear industry leader which is remarkable when it is up against much larger global carriers. The airline is committed to excellence in all areas of its business with its employees across the globe consistently delivering exceptional customer service.”

Air New Zealand Acting Chief Executive Jeff McDowall said in a press release that the airline is honoured to take out’s top award for a record sixth time.


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“Our 12,500 employees both on the ground and in the air are committed to offering the best travel experience on the 17 million customer journeys we facilitate every year, so it’s fantastic to have these efforts recognised by such an esteemed global judging panel. We’d also like to thank our customers for their ongoing loyalty to Air New Zealand,” Jeff said.

“While we are extremely proud to receive this award, 2020 marks Air New Zealand’s 80th year and we are focused on delivering some great new initiatives, as well as launching our non-stop Auckland-New York service in late October.”

In addition to being named Airline of the Year, Air New Zealand has also won the award for Best Premium Economy for the sixth time in a row, which, similarly, was announced yesterday.

Who needs a World Cup anyway?

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