Latest ranking of world’s top 10 airlines does not include a U.S. carrier — again

Inaugural Passenger Airbus A380 Flight Returns To Singapore
A Singapore Airlines staff member explains the features aboard the new Singapore Airlines Airbus A380. The airline was ranked the best by Skytrax, according to the latest survey of more than 20 million travelers around the world by the Skytrax World Airport Awards.
(Mark Nolan / Getty Images)

An annual ranking of the world’s top airlines has once again shown that passengers around the globe don’t think highly of U.S. carriers.

The top 10 ranking, based on surveys of more than 20 million travelers worldwide, was dominated this year by airlines based in Asia and the Middle East.

At the top of the list was Singapore Airlines, followed by Qatar Airways, All Nippon Airways and Emirates, according to the ranking by SkyTrax, an air-transport industry research company based in Britain.

No U.S.-based carrier made the top 10 list. In fact, no U.S.-based airline has made the top 10 list over the last five years. The highest ranking U.S. carrier this year, Delta Air Lines, was listed as 37th in the world, despite the fact that the U.S. is the source of more air travelers — and presumably more SkyTrax voters — than any other country.


Airlines for America, the trade group that represents most major U.S. carriers, did not dispute the findings or the method for ranking airlines but noted that demand for air travel in the U.S. has been growing steadily for years.

“As demand continues to grow, U.S. airlines are heavily reinvesting profits into their employees, boosting staffing levels, as well as enhancing their passenger products and customer experience,” said group spokeswoman Alison McAfee.

Despite the poor showing on the SkyTrax ranking, satisfaction with U.S. airlines is on the rise, according to a recent satisfaction study by J.D. Power, which surveyed 11,508 passengers who flew on major North American airlines between March 2017 and March 2018.

The study released in May said satisfaction with airlines increased by 6 points to 762 (on a 1,000-point scale), marking the seventh straight year of increased ratings.


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