The airline also took the top spot for business class.

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Qatar Airways was voted the best airline in the world for 2021, according to AirlineRatings.com.

The Doha-based airline was awarded the top spot based on a host of criteria, including the age of its fleet, passenger reviews, and product offerings, as well as its "commitment to keeping the world's critical long-haul air routes open during COVID-19," according to the site.

In addition to the No. 1 ranking, Qatar Airways also took the top spots for best business class (the airline is known for its Qsuites) and best catering.

"Over the past 16 months, the aviation industry has witnessed some of its darkest days, but Qatar Airways has continued to operate and stand by our passengers despite many other airlines halting operations due the pandemic," Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said in a statement. "Qatar Airways continues to reach new heights and set industry standards that deliver unrivaled passenger experience because it is in our DNA to do everything with excellence. Our commitment is to provide the highest possible level of health and safety standards both on the ground and in the air, with 5-star service at the core of our business."

Air New Zealand, which took the top spot in 2020, came in at No. 2 overall in this year's rankings but edged out other carriers as having the best premium economy and best economy seats. Singapore Airlines took the top prize for best first-class seats, but came in No. 3 overall. 

Qatar Airways Cabin
Credit: Courtesy of Qatar Airways

Qantas, which AirlineRatings.com ranked the safest airline in the world, won best domestic airline service and best lounges.

United Airlines was the highest-ranked airline in the United States, coming in at No. 8 on the list, and was also voted as the best in "Excellence in Long Haul travel."

When it came to low-cost carriers, Southwest took the top spot, followed by Easyjet, and Jetstar.

These are the top 20 airlines for 2021, according to AirlineRatings.com.

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

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.