Air New Zealand has been crowned 2020 Airline of the Year by, reclaiming the top spot after narrowly missing out on taking home the coveted title last year.

To score accolade, Air New Zealand nudged out Singapore Airlines, last year’s winner, ANA, Qantas and Cathay Pacific.

The win marks the sixth time the Kiwi carrier has received the top honour in’s renowned Airline Excellence Awards.’s panel of seven judges (who have more than 200 years’ of aviation experience between them) assess airlines on 12 key criteria for the awards each year.

Each category is scrutinised from customer reviews and product offerings through to safety, fleet age, profitability and environmental leadership. editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas says Air New Zealand remains on top in virtually every category, which is an extraordinary achievement.

“Air New Zealand is a clear industry leader which is remarkable when it is up against much larger global carriers”. editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas

“The airline is committed to excellence in all areas of its business with its employees across the globe consistently delivering exceptional customer service,” he said.

Karry On - Air New Zealand Auckland New York

Air New Zealand Acting Chief Executive Jeff McDowall said the airline was honoured to take out’s top award for a record sixth time.

“Our 12,500 employees both on the ground and in the air are committed to offering the best travel experience on the 17 million customer journeys we facilitate every year, so it’s fantastic to have these efforts recognised by such an esteemed global judging panel,” he said.

“We’d also like to thank our customers for their ongoing loyalty to Air New Zealand”.

2020 marks Air New Zealand’s 80th year with the airline promising a focus on delivering new initiatives, as well as launching a new non-stop Auckland-New York service in late October.


On top of being named Airline of the Year, Air New Zealand has also won the award for Best Premium Economy for the sixth time in a row.

You can see the full list of winners here.