Qatar Airways wins big at 2024 Skytrax awards, Delta takes four awards  

Qatar Airways

The results of the Skytrax airline awards for 2024 have been announced and for the eighth time in its history, Qatar Airways has walked away with the top honors – the much-coveted ‘Airline of the Year’ award. The Doha-based carrier also received three other of the most prestigious awards – that of ‘World’s Best Business Class’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge’, and ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’. 

Qatar Airways’ home and hub airport, Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH), was named ‘World’s Best Airport’ in 2024 by Skytrax for the third time. The airport also received the award for ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the tenth time, and the airport’s retail, Qatar Duty-Free, received ‘World’s Best Airport Shopping’ for the second consecutive year. This remarkable achievement is the first time that an airline, an airport, and the airport’s retail have been crowned as ‘World’s Best’ in all three Skytrax categories.  

Qatar Airways

Widely regarded by many to be the ‘Oscars’ of the commercial aviation industry, the Skytrax Airline Awards are said to represent the “pinnacle of excellence in aviation”. 

“This is a proud moment for Qatar Airways,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer. “I am honored to share this award with my dedicated team. This award is a testimony to our relentless commitment to providing unparalleled service and innovation. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers with the highest level of excellence.” 

“Qatar Airways’ impressive achievement of winning the Airline of the Year title for the eighth time, alongside three additional top accolades, is a true testament to the airline’s high standards and dedication. Qatar Airways was and will continue to be customers’ favorite airline,” added Skytrax Chief Executive Officer, Edward Plaisted.  

Qatar Airways

In other award categories, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines was named ‘Best Airline in North America’ and ‘Best Airline Staff’. 2024 becomes the fourth consecutive year that Delta has won the first of these and the third in the second category. 

Delta also scooped the North America category awards for ‘Best Business Class’, ‘Best Premium Economy Class’, ‘Best Economy Class’, ‘Best Business Class Onboard Catering’, ‘Best Cabin Crew’ and ‘Best Economy Class Onboard Catering’.  

With this haul of awards, Delta certainly fared better than its two main US rivals. American Airlines failed to trouble the judging panel by claiming no awards, while United won the conciliatory category of ‘Best Business Class Lounge in North America’. However, none of the ‘Big Three’ US carriers managed to appear in the rankings of the top 20 world’s best airlines (see below).   

Elsewhere, Air Canada was awarded four awards in the North American category in total. The Toronto-based carrier was voted the ‘Most Family Friendly Airline in North America’, the Best Premium Economy Class Onboard Catering’, and the ‘Cleanest Airline in North America’. For Canada specifically, the airline took the award for ‘Best Cabin Crew’.  

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Global rankings 

Overall, Skytrax’s list of the top ten airlines globally gives the casual observer as well as the industry expert something of an insight into the state of the global airline industry as well as where innovation and passenger experience is paramount and perhaps, where it rather lags behind. The top 10 world’s best airlines ranked as follows –  

  • Qatar Airways 
  • Singapore Airlines 
  • Emirates 
  • All Nippon Airways (ANA) 
  • Cathay Pacific Airways 
  • Japan Airlines 
  • Turkish Airlines 
  • EVA Air 
  • Air France 
  • SWISS 

Out of the top 10 global airlines, five are based in the Far East, three in the Middle East (if you include Turkey and Turkish Airlines in this region), while the remaining two are European.  

Some results that may come as a surprise to some readers could be British Airways (13th place), Virgin Atlantic (17th), Etihad (19th), Air New Zealand (22nd), and Qantas (24th).    

Delta Air Lines was the only American carrier to feature in the top 30, coming in at number 21, while Air Canada was the sole other North American carrier to make the top 30 at number 29. United struggled its way into the top 50 at position 42, while American Airlines fell well short of that benchmark, claiming the 78th spot.  

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