The Newest Ranking of the World's Best Airlines Is Here is back with its coveted annual ranking of the top 25 airlines.

Air New Zealand's new cabin concept, called the Skynest, where three people can be seen laying down.
Courtesy of Air New Zealand
Courtesy of Air New Zealand

The annual Airline Excellence Awards and the top 25 airlines in the world ranking from is here, with a few US airlines named among the group.

"We are focused on leadership and airlines that innovate to make a real difference to the passenger experience," editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas said in a statement. "Of course right now the airline industry is under unprecedented pressure as it strives to recover from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine with significant disruptions to passengers."

Here are the top 25 airlines:
1. Air New Zealand
2. Qatar Airways
3. Etihad Airways
4. Korean Air
5. Singapore Airlines
6. Qantas
7. Virgin Australia / Virgin Atlantic
8. EVA Air
9. Cathay Pacific Airways
10. Emirates
11. Lufthansa / Swiss
12. SAS
13. TAP Portugal
14. All Nippon Airways
15. Delta Air Lines
16. Air Canada
17. British Airways
18. JetBlue
19. JAL
20. Vietnam Airlines
21. Turkish Airlines
22. Hawaiian
23. KLM
24. Alaska Airlines
25. United Airlines

In order to even qualify for any ranking on the above list, the standards are high. First, an airline must have a seven-star safety rating. To achieve this, airlines must meet a comprehensive and complex set of criteria evaluated by This year’s number-one airline, Air New Zealand, made it to the top spot because of its cabin innovation of beds for economy class passengers, passenger service, and the rapid recovery the airline made from COVID-related disruptions. Air New Zealand ranked second to Qatar Airways last year.

“Air New Zealand's commitment to excellence in all facets of its business starts at the top with outstanding governance and one of the best executive teams in aviation through to a workforce that is delivering consistently to the airline’s strategy and customer promise," Thomas continued in the statement. "Like all airlines across the globe Air New Zealand has faced severe disruptions during and after the pandemic and this year huge challenges from storms and cyclones. The airline has responded well."

In response to the ranking, Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran told Thrillist in an emailed statement that the airline owed its success "to the dedication and hard work of our 12,000 Air New Zealanders who wake each morning to connect Kiwis with each other and the world. This award belongs to them for their grit, commitment, and the exceptional service they deliver every day.

"As with many airlines worldwide, we understand that our fantastic team faces difficulties in providing the service we strive for and that our customers expect, Foran continued. "We're working hard to address these challenges,” Foran continued. There is no doubt that we have more work to do to tackle customer concerns like wait times, on-time departures and arrivals, lost baggage, and refunds. We want to thank our customers for their patience and support as we work towards delivering the greatest flying experience on Earth."

I personally hope more airlines follow Air New Zealand’s example and create more creature comforts for economy passengers. Right now, flying in international economy feels like being squished into a tin can alongside a bunch of other sweaty beings and being jostled around.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.