WOW: Qatar Airways Is The Best Airline In The World 2024

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  •  Qatar Airways topped AirlineRatings’ 2024 ranking due to outstanding passenger feedback, amongst other things.
  •  The airline received the Best Business Class award for the fifth consecutive year.
  •  The Qatar Airways QSuite offers top-notch business class amenities and service.

Known for its ranking of the safest airlines in the world each year, AirlineRatings also hosts the Airline Excellence Awards, ranking airlines based on a variety of factors so that we can choose to fly better.

The firm states that the ranking is formed by a panel of judges who, together, have more than 100 years of combined industry experience. They consider factors including safety, product rating, fleet age, profitability, incidents, passenger reviews, innovation and forward aircraft orders.

Top of the ranking for 2024 is none other than Doha-based Qatar Airways, an airline renowned for its refined and luxurious travel experience. Qatar regains the top spot in 2024 after losing its crown last year to Air New Zealand. It had previously held the title in 2021 and 2022.

Qatar Airways Airbus AA350-1000 shutterstock_2407676457

Photo: Coby Wayne | Shutterstock

Best Premium AirlineQatar AirwaysKorean AirCathay PacificAir New ZealandEmirates
Best First ClassSingapore Airlines
Best Business ClassQatar Airways
Best Premium EconomyEmirates
Best EconomyAir New Zealand
Best Low-Cost CarrierAmericas: SouthwestMiddle East: flyDubaiAsia: AirAsiaAustralia/Pacific: JetstarEurope: easyJet
Best Ultra Low-Cost AirlineVietjet
Best Environmental AirlineEtihad
Best LoungesQantas
Best Cabin CrewVirgin Atlantic/Australia

What’s great about Qatar Airways?

While AirlineRatings admitted that the scores were very close among the top 10 airlines, Qatar Airways scored highest in many categories and inched ahead of its competitors. In particular, passenger feedback, sourced from various places, was consistently outstanding for Qatar Airways, with flyers praising its consistency, service and high standards.

qatar airways cabin crew

Photo: Qatar Airways

In addition to bagging the Airline Excellence Award for 2024, Qatar Airways picked up Best Business Class for the fifth year running. AirlineRatings agrees with Skytrax here, as that organization also voted Qatar’s product the best in the world in 2023 (for the 10th time!).

If you’re not familiar, Qatar Airways has a fabulous onboard product dubbed the QSuite, available on its newer A350s and select Boeing 777s. With doors that close, plenty of storage, and the option to combine four suites into a group room, it has consistently set the bar for the very best that business class can possibly offer to passengers.


The seat, or suite, is just the start of the Qatar experience. Hot on the heels of the wow factor of the accommodations come some truly fine dining, generous amenity kits, complementary pajamas, and world-class IFE. But it’s not all about the passengers at the pointy end of the plane.

In economy, passengers are treated to around 31” – 32” of legroom (depending on the aircraft) and a seat width of 18”, one of the widest in the industry. Amenity kits are provided even here, and the inflight dining is just as meticulously crafted as that in business and first.


Unusually for economy, Qatar Airways offers unlimited snacks and drinks throughout the flight. Its in-house Oryx One entertainment system has a massive 4,000 hours of on-demand content, and naturally, the cabin crew offer the same inimitable hospitality and care onboard.

Who else got ranked?

Last year’s winner, Air New Zealand, slipped down the rankings to position four for 2024. The airline recently reduced its profit outlook for the year based on stronger-than-anticipated competition, which may have hurt its scores. However, the airline is set to launch its lie-flat economy ‘Skynest’ product later this year, so it could well be back in the top spot next time.

Stepping up into second place is Korean Air, ranked fourth last year. It has sailed above Air New Zealand and Etihad to take the silver medal, perhaps a reflection of its record 2023 revenues and $13 billion order for Airbus A350s.

Korean Air Boeing 747-8I at Vaclav Havel Airport Prague.

Photo: kamilpetran | Shutterstock

In bronze medal position is Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific, surging back up the ranks from 9th position last year. The airline was one of the last to start its recovery following the pandemic shutdown, and even as recently as Q4 of 2023, its capacity was well below where it used to be.

Since then, it has reported its first profit in three years, passed major passenger milestones, and unveiled new products in both business and economy class. It’s great to see the Asian airline getting back to full strength.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 Departure

Photo: Cathay Pacific

Notable by their absence, some airlines did not make it onto this year’s top 25 list at all, but had done in previous years. JetBlue, for example, came in 18th last time, but wasn’t on the list at all for 2024. However, American Airlines managed to squeak onto the list in 25th place, having not featured at all in 2023.

The full list of rankings is below. Do share a comment and let us know if you agree with AirlineRatings’ rankings of these fantastic international airlines.

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Korean Air
  3. Cathay Pacific
  4. Air New Zealand
  5. Emirates
  6. Air France-KLM
  7. All Nippon Airways
  8. Etihad Airways
  9. Qantas
  10. Virgin Australia/Atlantic
  11. Vietnam Airlines
  12. Singapore Airlines
  13. EVA Air
  14. TAP Portugal
  15. JAL
  16. Finnair
  17. Hawaiian
  18. Alaska Airlines
  19. Lufthansa / Swiss
  20. Turkish Airlines
  21. IAG (British Airways / Aer Lingus / Iberia / Air Europa)
  22. Air Canada
  23. Delta Air Lines
  24. United Airlines
  25. American Airlines

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