Skytrax World Travel Awards: Singapore Airlines dominates the world, Turkish Airlines Europe and Air France…Western Europe

Skytrax took advantage of the Paris Air Show to present its World Travel Awards 2023. There were few surprises in this year’s ranking, which confirms strong trends such as the domination of Asian and Gulf airlines.

Singapore Airlines best airline in the world

For several years now, the title of world’s best airline has been the preserve of only a handful of airlines, which win it one after the other. This year’s winner is Singapore Airlines (2nd in 22), ahead of Qatar Airways (1st in 2022). The podium is completed by ANA (4th in 2022).

What can I say except that we’re not at all surprised. There’s a certain consistency here, and our travels on both airlines confirm this, even if I have to admit that I found Singapore Airlines less perfect than expected on my last flights.

Air France moves up from 8th to 7th rank.

Air France best airline in Western Europe

Air France, best European airline in 2021, this time wins the award for best Western European airline. It is followed by Swiss and Iberia, which has overtaken its big sister British Airways.

This ranking is also not open to criticism, even if the stagnation (or even regression) of its medium-haul product and the poor level of Air France’s short-haul business are worrying.

Turkish Airlines best European airline

There were no surprises among Europe’s top airlines either, with Turkish Airlines retaining its title. The days when the Turkish airline and Skytrax were at enmity seem to be long gone, but was it possible for Turkish Airlines to show such lofty ambitions while being at war with a ranking which, while questionable, remains the benchmark for the industry? It is ranked 6th in the world

It is ahead of Air France and Swiss.

A result that we find most logical, and at a time when the Paris Air Show is expecting a mega-order from the Turkish airline, the latter can no longer hide, nor can its competitors pretend to ignore it.

The proof is in the speech made by Ben Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, at the last Paris Air Forum, where he said, more or less “Over the years, we’ve come to cope with the Gulf airlines, but there’s something big coming out of Turkey, just 3 hours from our hubs…“.

In terms of other regional rankings, we can see that in the USA Delta Airlines comes first, ahead of Air Canada and United…a ranking on which Olivier may have something to say.

In Asia, the trio of Singapore Airlines, ANA and Japan Airlines dominates, but it has to be said that competition is fierce in the region, with a large number of airlines rated 5*.

And finally, in the Middle East, Qatar Airways takes the first rank, ahead of Emirates and Etihad.

Singapore Airlines best first class

The best First Class is with Singapore Airlines, ahead of Air France and ANA.

Deservedly so, for the city-state airline, even if we think that Air France deserves to win this award one day. But while we find the Air France product more consistent (a single cabin type), it is also less widely deployed, and while it is better than Singapore Airlines’ “standard” cabin, it cannot compete with the A380 suites.

That said, the French airline’s ground experience at Roissy remains second to none.

Qatar Airways best business class

The business class rankings are as follows: Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates.

The first two are logical, notably the Qatar-based airline’s remarkable QSuite, while the third is questionable in terms of taste but, above all, still offers cabins in a 2-3-2 configuration.

Air France ranks 7th.

Best Economy for Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines finally wins the Best Economy Class award, ahead of…Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines.

Air France plummeted to 16th place.

Star Alliance best alliance

The best alliance is Star Alliance, ahead of OneWorld and Skyteam.

Here we’re a little less in agreement, unless it’s the size criterion that prevails. For us, it would be OneWorld, Star Alliance and Skyteam in that order…

Bottom line

The Skytrax 2023 ranking is less controversial and contains fewer surprises than some of its predecessors, and confirms the dominance of Asian and Middle Eastern airlines, with Western airlines getting only crumbs… but they don’t deserve more.

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrin
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.

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