Each year, SKYTRAX awards airlines for being the best across various categories, such as the World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best First Class, World’s Best Airline and so much more. These are prestigious awards that every airline strives to achieve because they are not won by corporate judges, but rather from a collection of surveys taken by travelers from all over the world.
The world’s best airlines have a common goal—to please their passengers. As such, year after year, we see different airlines improve in their overall global rating, as well as airport service, cabin staff, catering services, in-flight entertainment, seats, and amenities to name a few key categories. Previous award winners for the most improved airlines were Garuda Indonesia, Air France, China Southern Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Thai Airways. This year, however, the award was given to Saudi Arabian Airlines. Including Saudia, here’s who made it to this year’s top five most improved airlines in the world over the past 12 months.
No.1: Saudi Arabian Airlines
Currently, Saudi Arabian Airline’s (Saudia) ranking on a global scale is at number 51, which is a 40 percent improvement in 12 months. Last year, the airline was at 82nd and 84th in 2015.
The CEO of SKYTRAX, Edward Plaisted, stated, “Saudia had an extremely good year in the 2017 awards survey and improved its global standing across several different survey areas. Whether first, business or economy class, passengers clearly saw tangible upgrades to the product and service quality, and staff at Saudia should be very proud of this fantastic achievement.” Well done, Saudia!
This year’s number two spot for the world’s most improved airline was given to Spain’s Iberia Airlines. Since 2013, the carrier has made large efforts to increase flights while improving on-time performance. Moreover, the airline released its brand-new premium economy seat, which is a huge improvement and a big step in the right direction for an airline that has has a lot of criticism in the past. They listened to their passengers and made sure they delivered as best as possible.
No.3: Hainan Airlines
Hainan Airlines made it to the top three this year. At the same time, the carrier has also placed number nine in the top 10 of the best airlines in the world for 2017. Hainan Airlines has made tremendous improvements, including rolling out their new Boeing 787-9 aircrafts featuring Wi-Fi and new business class seats in a reverse herringbone seat configuration. In addition to cabin improvements, the airline offers passengers a spectacular menu designed by Michelin-starred chefs—it’s a treat not to be missed!
This low-cost airline and Europe’s largest carrier has undergone major changes over the past twelve months. Ryanair continues to improve its service, both digital and inflight, which is why the airline has increased its sales by 50 percent since 2015. From this year and onto 2018, Ryanair has multiple enhancements it seeks to roll out, some of which include the following: even lower airfares and more of them; new bases (i.e. Frankfurt Main, Naples); improved schedules; better profile, offers and incentives; pre-saved preferences for faster bookings (in just 3 clicks); as well as auto check-in for both flights once return seats are booked.
No. 5: Ethiopian Airlines
Number five on this year’s list is Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest airline group, which also received SKYTRAX World Airline Award for The Best Airlines in Africa. It achieves to bring the best customer service to all of their passengers, regardless of the ticket type. Moreover, the airline has retrofitted their business class seats to be even flatter (although not 100 percent), for increased comfort for those sitting in the upper cabin.
By 2025, the Ethiopian Airlines’ mission is “to become the most competitive and leading aviation group in Africa by providing safe, market-driven and customer focused passenger and cargo transport, aviation training, flight catering, MRO and ground services”. Looking at the way they are heading, this goal seems to be very achievable!