BANGKOK, 28 September 2022: As the world’s tourism leaders celebrate World Tourism Day on Tuesday, countries are shedding the last remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Public health ministries are phasing out the daily tally of Covid-19 cases starting 1 October, a clear signal that travel enterprises can now embark on the long and challenging journey to recovery.
Tourists visiting popular destinations in Southeast Asia will have fewer flight options to their favourite resorts, and fares are considerably higher than what was on offer in 2019. They will also encounter closed restaurants and bars, or at best, open for just a few hours in the evening as owners attempt to rehire staff. Hotels face the same challenges. They are reopening, but they face tough, uncertain times made worse by an energy crisis and the war in Ukraine that threatens travel bookings from Europe to popular destinations across Southeast Asia.
Despite the uncertainties, Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022 cast a ray of sunshine by naming its top airlines worldwide after an absence in 2020 and irrelevant citations in 2021 precipitated by Covid-19 lockdowns and disruptions.
Qatar Airways takes the top spot in the 2022 Airline of the Year Awards, followed by Singapore Airlines in second place and Emirates in the third slot.
Qatar maintained its slot at the top of the chart based on consistently delivering a route network of 30 or more destinations during the voting period from late 2021 to August 2022. Today the airline flies to more than 150 destinations.
Commenting on the latest achievement, Skytrax chief executive officer Edward Plaisted said: “Qatar Airways was the largest airline to have flown consistently throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, with their network never falling below 30 destinations.”
The airline also took home three additional awards; World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Lounge Dining, and Best Airline in the Middle East. It was named Airline of the Year in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022.
Six of the top 10 listed airlines were based in Asia, including the Middle East. Europe was represented by three airlines Turkish Airways (7), Air France (8) and Swiss International Air Lines (10) and Qantas Australia (5).
Absent from the top 10 for the first time in years, Cathay Pacific dropped to 16th place, reflecting the grounding of services for long periods during the voting window in 2021 and 2022.
According to Skytrax, the 2022 World Airline Awards are based on an online consumer voting registered from September 2021 to August 2022 in various languages; English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese.
Skytrax’s top 10 airlines 2022:
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- All Nippon Airways (ANA)
- Qantas Airways
- Japan Airlines
- Turkish Airlines
- Air France
- Korean Air
- Swiss International Air Lines