By Alison Fox
November 26, 2019
Rusell Hendry/Getty Images

When it comes to safety, amenities, flight entertainment and comfort, the best of the best for travel for the new year was found in New Zealand.

According AirlineRatings.com’s annual best airlines list for 2020, Air New Zealand came out on top. 

The carrier beat out last year’s winner, Singapore Airlines, which came in second place. The ratings were based on things like major safety and government audits as well as passenger reviews and product offerings, according to the site. 

“In our analysis, Air New Zealand came out number one in most of our audit criteria, which is an outstanding performance when it’s up against carriers with more resources and scale on this same list of best airlines for 2020,” Airline Ratings Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas said in a statement. “Air New Zealand’s commitment to excellence in all facets of its business starts at the top with outstanding governance and one of the best executive teams in aviation through to a workforce that is delivering consistently to the airline’s strategy and customer promise.”

When it came to having the best first class, however, Singapore snagged the top spot for the carrier’s suites, which the group classified as “the equivalent of small hotel rooms.” At 50-square-feet each with a swivel armchair and a twin-size bed, they definitely beat cramped economy seats.

Qatar Airways, which came in ninth on the overall ratings list, took first place for best catering as well as best business class with its Qsuites, which Thomas called “a first-class experience in business class.

“It leaves little to chance, and our judges rated it as one of the best overall business-class products they had seen,” he added about the Qsuites. “It sets a standard to which some airlines can only aspire.”

And for the best on-the-ground experience, look no further than Qantas, which the group awarded as having the best lounges in the world.

In terms of budget airlines, JetBlue was top (it also happens to be Travel + Leisure’s No. 1 domestic airline), followed by Wizz Air, named one of the fastest growing airlines last year.

Here is the full list of AirlineRatings.com’s top 20 airlines in the world:

  1. Air New Zealand
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. All Nippon Airways
  4. Qantas
  5. Cathay Pacific Airways
  6. Emirates
  7. Virgin Atlantic
  8. EVA Air
  9. Qatar Airways
  10. Virgin Australia
  11. Lufthansa
  12. Finnair
  13. Japan Airlines
  14. KLM
  15. Korean Airlines
  16. Hawaiian Airlines
  17. British Airways
  18. Alaska Airlines
  19. Delta Air Lines
  20. Etihad Airways
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