'The Oscars of aviation industry': South Africa wins big at Skytrax while Singapore takes home the gold

2018-07-19 10:43
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(Photo: iStock)

Since 1999, the Skytrax World Airline Awards have been providing insights into passenger satisfaction and recognition for the efforts of various stakeholders in the commercial aviation industry writ large.

Celebrating their 18th anniversary, Skytrax has released their annual independent and impartial World Airline Awards. Travellers across the world voted in one of the largest passenger satisfaction surveys and the resultant data is used to recognise winners in certain focus areas of the industry.

With over 100 nationalities having participated in the 2017-2018 survey and 335 airlines featured in the survey result, the Skytrax awards, when received, are quite impressive and worth celebrating for players in the commercial aviation industry.

With an ever-expanding database of 24.45 million customers completing the online surveys, the awards are an inclusive and expansive representation of customer sentiment.

SEE: The best and worst airlines and airports around the world: SAA makes top 5

African airlines have made significant inroads and have risen in the ranks of the World’s Top 100 Airlines 2018 with Ethiopian airlines taking the top spot as best African airline according to Skytrax. 

Ethiopian Airlines has moved eight places up from last year's 48th position to 40th this year while South African Airlines has moved up four places from last year's 49th place to 45 this year. South Africa is also well-represented in a number of other categories including best low-cost airlines and best airline staff in Africa.

The awarding of the best airline staff to SAA recognises service excellence covering a spectrum of front-line customer service touch points and passenger's onboard experience. Under the category of Best Airline Staff in Africa, SAA also won Best Business Class Lounge in Africa, Best Cabin Crew in Africa and Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in Africa. 

SEE: #AfriTravel: Cape Town international voted best in Africa as SA regional airports clean up

According to Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted, “The South African Airways brand of service continues to delight customers across their network. This award, which is voted for by SAA passengers, is excellent recognition for the dedicated frontline staff.” 

SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali, commenting on the awards said “We’re exceptionally pleased to be rated as having the Best Airline Staff in Africa for the sixth time, this speaks to our level of consistency with regards to service excellence throughout our customers travel journey. It’s a significant pat on the back for us to see our employees’ hard work being recognised on such a global scale, particularly in light of strong competition from other African Airlines.”

“Our customers have very high expectations and the ability for SAA to constantly meet those is phenomenal. We continue to enhance our consumer experience under the current turnaround strategy to ensure that expectations are not only met but are exceeded on every flight,” concludes Tlali.

SEE: #AfriTravel: Ethiopian Airlines wins prestigious TripAdvisor award

This is what Skytrax and, by extension, millions of travellers from around the world have voted for:

Worlds Top 10 Airlines 2018

1. Singapore Airlines

2. Qatar Airways

3. ANA All Nippon Airway

4. Emirates

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5. EVA Air

6. Cathay Pacific Airways 

7. Lufthansa


8. Hainan Airlines 

9. Garuda Indonesia


10. Thai Airways 

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The Best Airlines in Africa 2018

1. Ethiopian Airlines

2. South African Airways

3. Air Mauritius

4. Air Seychelles

5. Kenya Airways

6. Royal Air Maroc

7. Mango

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8. Fastjet

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9. Kulula

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10. TAAG Angola Airlines

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SEE: #AfriTravel: King Shaka and Cape Town take top spots in World Airport Awards

Best Low-Cost Airlines in Africa 2018

1. Mango 

2. Fastjet

3. Kulula

4. Jambojet

4. fly540

SEE: #AfriTravel: South Africans get more direct access to exotic Zanzibar with Mango

Best Airline Staff in Africa 2018

1. South African Airways

2. Ethiopian Airlines

3. Kenya Airways

4. Air Mauritius

5. Mango

6. Air Seychelles

7. Royal Air Maroc

8. Fastjet

9. RwandAir

10. Kulula

SEE: The best in SA to be honoured with SACAA's new Civil Aviation Industry Awards

Best Regional Airlines in Africa 2018

1. Royal Air Maroc

2. Air Namibia

3. RwandAir

4. Tunisair

5. Sénégal Airlines

6. Air Botswana

7. Air Côte d'Ivoire

8. Air Burkina

9. Afriqiyah Airways

10. ASKY Airlines