The largest Colombian carrier beat out all the others on the continent for the top regional honoree in the 2018 World Airline Awards, including second-place finisher Azul Airlines of Brazil, LATAM (third) and Sky Airlines (fourth) of Chile, and Aerolíneas Argentinas (fifth) of Argentina.
Discount airline EasyFly of Bogotá ranked seventh in South America, with TAME (sixth), Gol (eighth), Austral Líneas Aéreas (ninth), and StarPeru (tenth) rounding out the top 10 of what Skytrax’s refers to as its “passenger’s choice awards.”
Avianca also won first place for having the Best Economy Class in South America, while the Star Alliance, which includes Avianca, outranked OneWorld Alliance and SkyTeam Alliance as the World’s Best Airline Alliance.
Copa Airlines, the Panama-based carrier that has long operated in Colombia, finished first in the regional rankings for Central America and the Caribbean.
Winners of the Skytrax’s World Airline Awards, which have been presented in each of the past 18 years, were announced on July 17 during a ceremony at the Langham Hotel in London. The awards are decided by passenger votes, and more than 20.3 million survey results were used to decide this year’s winners, according to Skytrax.
Globally, for the fourth time, Singapore Airlines won top honor as the World’s Best Airline as well as Best First Class. “A key ‘wow’ factor for customers is consistency, and this proved to a real asset for Singapore Airlines, who scored highly across both product and service,” said Edward Plaisted of Skytrax.
Other carriers known for luxury, long-haul flights followed closely behind in the overall global top 10, including Qatar Airways, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, and Lufthansa. Qatar Airways also won for World’s Best Business Class.
Another Asian company, China Southern Airlines, was recognized as the World’s Most Improved Airline. It now ranks second in the country of some 1.4 billion people behind Hainan Airlines, according to voters.
World’s Best Airlines – Global
1. Singapore Airlines
2. Qatar Airways
3. ANA All Nippon Airways
5. EVA Air
6. Cathay Pacific
8. Hainan Airlines
9. Garuda Indonesia
10. Thai Airways
World’s Best Airlines – South America
2. Azul Airlines
4. Sky Airline
5. Aerolineas Argentinas
9. Austral Líneas Aéreas
World’s Best Airlines – Central America & Caribbean
1. Copa Airlines
2. Caribbean Airlines
3. Air Caraibes
6. Cayman Airways
9. Suriname Airways
10. Insel Air
(Photo credit: Avianca)