Posted: December 15, 2014

World’s Best Airlines of 2015
And the best airlines of 2015 are ...

For how much time business travelers spend in planes, there should be some way to justify which carriers truly deserve trip-goers' hard-earned dollars. In a recent report, Australia-based safety assessment website AirlineRatings.com scored the top airlines in the world.

World’s No. 1 Airline

The winner? Air New Zealand. The choice may leave some confused, but international travelers who've flown out of Auckland Airport have likely heard of the exceptional carrier, if not had the opportunity to fly with them.

It is the second year in a row Air New Zealand topped the charts. AirlineRatings.com editor-in-chief Geoffrey Thomas attributed the carrier's stand-out prowess to the overall value flyers can get for their plane tickets. The staff reportedly treats both first class and business customers with the same attentiveness, providing both with perks such as touch-screen TVs on each headrest, lengthy drink menus and complimentary noise-cancelling headphones.

"Air New Zealand's focus on its staff has resulted in exceptional performance across the airline in market position, customer service, financial performance, fiscal management and operational safety," Thomas said in a statement. "Put simply, Air New Zealand is a textbook case of what an airline should be today."

The carrier hopes to set a bar that other airlines will aspire to match.

Best Business Class

The airline awarded with the best business class was Cathay Pacific Airways, the international flag carrier airline of Hong Kong, with its main hub located at Hong Kong International Airport. Those heading out on frequent client meetings or face-to-faces around globe should consider opting for Cathay Pacific next time they book their flights. 

"It's a magnificent blend of comfort, functionality and privacy," Thomas said in the rankings. "The airline has listened to its customers and it shows."

Cathay Pacific pulls out all the stops in its goal to tailor high-end services to customers. The business class seats feature up to 11 inches in a semi-enclosed nook with a spacious desk as well as a side table to put beverages. In the side cabinet, there's room for a headset and a vanity mirror in addition to glasses and gadgets. Travelers who want to shut out distractions from the rest of the plane will find the personal space of these seats quite accommodating.

And when you get sleepy during overseas red-eye flights, the new fully flat bed lets you get a solid rest. The bed is over 82 inches long, with extra knee space for sleeping on your side.

For better or worse, these premium seats offer a wealth of entertainment options. A touch of a button reveals the 15.4-inch touch-screen personal TV with a rotating library of 100 movies, 500 TV shows, 888 music CDs, 22 radio channels and 70 games – in 10 languages. There's even a multiport connector to connect your own electronic devices to stream audio and video content to the personal TV display.

With so much luxury, it's no wonder Cathay Pacific sealed the top spot for business class. 

Cost-Friendly Options

Flyers looking to save a pretty penny on flights should take a look at AirlineRatings.com's Best Low Cost Airline. With such a growing market, the ranking organization cited the challenge of balancing quality products with affordable prices. Airlines jetBlue took home the award for service in the Americas, while Scoot (Asia/Pacific), Norwegian (Europe) and Kulula (Middle East/Africa) won in other regions' markets.

Top 10 List

Check out AirlineRatings.com's overall top 10 airlines for 2015:

1. Air New Zealand
2. Etihad
3. Cathay Pacific
4. Qantas
5. Emirates
6. Singapore Airlines
7. EVA Air
8. Lufthansa
9. All Nippon Airways
10. British Airways

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