Qatar Airways rules the list – These are the best airlines in the world for 2021

The world of travel is forever changed, which had a direct impact on the world of aviation as well. They had to undergo several modifications, take on imperative safety measures and demonstrate leadership in innovation for passenger comfort. Yes, it was admittedly a strange year for the aviation industry, with many airlines grounding aircraft for most of 2020, but some stood their ground and have earned a place in the list that declares the world’s best carriers. has released its annual round-up of the world’s best airlines, so fliers don’t have to waste time deciding which airline to choose for their return to the skies.

Emirates Premium economy

To earn a spot in this list, airlines had to score a perfect ten on specific criteria such as a seven-star safety rating, demonstrate leadership, and rank high in innovation for passenger comfort. Spearheading the list is Qatar Airways followed by Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines, EVA Air, British Airways, Lufthansa, ANA, Finnair, Japan Air Lines, KLM, Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Virgin Australia, Delta Air Lines, and Etihad Airways.

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First class onboard Eva Air

According to Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas, “we are focused on leadership and airlines that innovate to make a real difference to the passenger experience. In our evaluation, we also consider the audited feedback from passengers on our website.” Qatar Airways has earned the winner badge for several reasons like cabin innovation, passenger service. But most of all for relentlessly operating throughout the Covid pandemic. They were the pioneers in completing IATA’s important IOSA safety audit. The first to be fully COVID audited and compliant by both AirlineRatings and Skytrax, and amongst the first to trial IATA’s COVID Safe Travel Pass. All these factors ensured their number one rating.

Air New Zealand business class

Similarly, Air New Zealand came in the second position for its continuous innovation and industry leadership. Singapore Airlines won third place and also took Best First Class. Coming in at fourth position was Qantas with awards like Best Lounge and Best Domestic Service awards in its kitty. They were also recognized for an outstanding safety record and fiscal performance during the arduous COVID pandemic. How could Emirates not make it to the Top 5 after introducing a premium economy class which is being hailed as one of the best in the industry?

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Business Class on the Virgin Atlantic

Keeping up its reputation of being a constant in the winner’s circle is Cathay Pacific Airways on the sixth spot, followed by Virgin Atlantic leading the race of cabin innovation. With its supersonic, subsonic, and electric aircraft, Chicago-based United Airlines offer the very best in comfort and eco-technology. Pioneer in Taiwanese aviation EVA Air won the ninth spot, with British Airways rounding up the list at tenth position for product, service, and innovation.

These are the top 20 Airlines for 2021
1. Qatar Airways
2. Air New Zealand
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Qantas
5. Emirates
6. Cathay Pacific
7. Virgin Atlantic
8. United Airlines
9. EVA Air
10. British Airways
11. Lufthansa
12. ANA
13. Finnair
14. Japan Air Lines
15. KLM
16. Hawaiian Airlines
17. Alaska Airlines
18. Virgin Australia
19. Delta Air Lines
20. Etihad Airways

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.