Innovation, comfort and environmental performance helped Air New Zealand beat rival Qantas to the title of world’s top airline. Plus, Singapore’s Changi Airport offers ‘contactless travel’ at its new Terminal 4.

Modern airline passengers enjoy levels or comfort and service that previous generations could only dream of. However, when it comes to the passenger experience one brand stands out from all the rest.

Air New Zealand has been named the world’s best airline for the fifth year in a row. In addition to being voted ‘Airline of the Year’ by, the Kiwi carrier topped the ‘Best Premium Economy’ category.

World's Best Airline - Compelo
Image©Mehdi Photos/

Rivals Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia and Virgin Atlantic also fared well, completing the top five.

“What is really impressive is that Air New Zealand has continually innovated in the economy cabin, where most of us travel,” said Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief of the safety and product rating website.

What makes Air New Zealand the world’s top airline?

Judges took into account 13 criteria including passenger reviews, financial performance, fleet age, environmental leadership and staff management. consequently described Air New Zealand as “an industry trendsetter”, praising the national carrier for “continually innovating in all cabins”. Additionally, the airline was singled out for its “seemingly endless” innovations such as wristbands that allow parents to keep track of children travelling alone.

Similarly, its young aircraft fleet, super-comfy seats, environmental stewardship and motivation of staff also made Air New Zealand stand out from the competition.

World's Best Airline - Compelo


“Air New Zealand’s efforts to improve the flight experience for all passengers made it a stand-out,” said Thomas. “The Skycouch and its premium economy are standouts that give thrifty travellers choices and more comfort. So many other airlines just say take it or leave it.”

In addition, Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon said the award is “testament to the huge effort from all our people to deliver a world-class Kiwi experience on the ground and in the air.”

Stiff competition

Conde Nast Traveler also named the carrier ‘top airline in the world’ last month. However, it cannot afford to be complacent. said “it is being pressed by Australia’s Qantas and Singapore Airlines, which are both rolling out new aircraft (787s and A350s) and significant revamp of in-flight product”.

Singapore Airlines won in the first-class service category.

Top ten airlines 2018:

1. Air New Zealand
2. Qantas
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Virgin Australia
5. Virgin Atlantic
6. Etihad Airways
7. Nippon Airways
8. Korean Air
9. Cathay Pacific
10. Japan Airlines

Singapore unveils contactless check-in

In other aviation news, Singapore’s Changi Airport is pioneering contactless technology in its new Terminal 4 (T4).

As a result, passengers can proceed all the way from check in to boarding using an automated system. Also, they don’t have to interact with staff.

World's Best Airline - Compelo
Image©Prasit Rodphan/


Passengers scan their passports and receive a printed baggage ticket. Additionally, they can drop their luggage using an automated bag drop machine. Facial recognition technology also ensures the same traveller moves from the first step of the process through immigration and onto the aircraft.

In addition, T4 uses cleaning robots and automated guided vehicles to move bags.

Future Airport contains the latest news and analysis of aviation technology trends. Plus, read the latest edition here.

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