The diplomatic dispute between Qatar and nearby Middle Eastern countries (as well a U.S.-imposed ban on carry-on electronics) has not stopped Qatar Airways from being crowned the world’s best airline -- a title it received at this year’s Skytrax World Airline Awards during the Paris Air Show.
Even more impressive, this isn’t the first time the Gulf-based carrier secured a win. The airline, which travels to destinations across Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, North America, and South America, has stolen the top spot four times in the last decade.
The Skytrax awards are based on independent surveys completed by 19.87 million passengers from 105 countries. Food and beverage, in-flight entertainment, seat comfort, staff service, and overall value are all considerations.
Singapore Airlines came in second on this year’s “Oscars of the aviation industry,” followed by ANA All Nippon Airways, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Hainan Airlines, and Garuda Indonesia.
In an interesting move, the Doha-based airline also said it was interested in acquiring approximately 10 percent of American Airlines. Meanwhile, several U.S. airlines, including American Airlines, have been outspoken in limiting American travelers’ access to major Gulf carriers like Etihad, Emirates, and Qatar Airways, due to the competition they pose. Industry executives have also spoken out about the unfair subsidies that the UAE and Qatar give their state-owned Gulf carriers.
It’s worth noting that a U.S. carrier didn’t even make the top 20 on the list of 100 best airlines in the world. And in case you’re wondering, United Airlines, which received some fairly recent negative press, came in 78th.
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