Top 10 airlines across Europe, Middle East and Africa

Skytrax's results see some of the best airlines across Europe, the Middle East and Africa ranking top of the list, with Qatar Airlines ranked No 2 in the world for 2023.
Skytrax has released its official Skytrax World Airline Awards list for 2023, with top airlines like Qatar Airlines across the EMEA region making the list

Airline review website Skytrax has released its 2023 World Airline Awards for the 23rd year running. The results see some of the best airlines across Europe, the Middle East and Africa ranking top of the list, with Qatar Airlines ranked No 2 in the world for 2023.

The list includes categories like ‘Cleanest Airline’ and ‘Best Cabin Crew,’ with the awards themselves chosen by customers. More than 325 airlines were included in the survey results.

Business Chief Magazine has rounded up the Top 10 Airlines across the EMEA region from that list, which are all renowned for their best-in-class customer satisfaction and general in-flight experience.

10: Kuwait Airways

Kuwait Airways won the 2023 award for the World’s Most Improved Airline. The company has been consistently improving over the past several years, following its rebranding initiative in October 2016. It received its first Boeing 777-300ER in December 2016 which marked the arrival of the airline's first fully owned new aircraft in nearly 20 years.

With its history being traced back to 1953, the company is the official national carrier of the State of Kuwait and operates international services throughout the Middle East, India, Europe, Southeast Asia and North America.

9: Volotea

Volotea was named the Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe, this being one of the most competitive low-cost airline markets in the world. Founded in 2011, it is one of the fastest-growing independent airlines in Europe. 

As well as Skytrax’s 2023 award, the airline won Europe’s Leading Low-Fares Airline award for the second year in a row at the 2022 World Travel Awards. In addition to its successes, the company is committed to sustainable aviation and has launched over 50 initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. 

8: British Airways​​​​​​​

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Ranking 18th in the world for World’s Best Airline by Skytrax, British Airways (BA) has always been committed to ensuring a high standard of flying. The airline is the UK's largest international scheduled airline and flies to nearly 600 destinations around the world.

Skytrax classifies BA as a Certified as a 4-Star Airline for the quality of its airport and onboard product and staff service, as its ratings are good across all areas of cleanliness and customer service. It has moved down seven positions in the ranking, previously 11th best in the world in 2022.

7: Etihad Airways

Ranked 13th in the world for World’s Best Airline, Etihad Airways is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates. Commencing operations in 2003, it is the second-largest airline in the UAE after Emirates.

The airline prides itself on being able to provide the customer with multiple options and unlimited experiences when deciding how they want to fly. It is well-known for offering some of the best business class flying options and has good value-added services to those passengers, including lounges and limo services.

6: Swiss International Air Lines​​​​​​​

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Ranked just ahead in 12th place in the world is Swiss International Air Lines, which previously ranked 10th in 2022. It is Switzerland’s national airline and serves over 100 destinations in 43 countries, carrying some 16.5 million passengers a year.

Skytrax classifies the airline as a Certified 4-Star Airline and constantly ranks highly at the World Travel Awards. As part of its services, passengers know to expect exclusive services, the benefits of extra cabin space, seats that convert into beds and fine dining, to name a few.

5: Ethiopian Airlines

For the sixth time, Ethiopian Airlines has won the Best Airline in Africa award as part of the World Airline Awards. Being the fastest growing airline group in Africa, it is a multi-award winning airline that has registered an average growth of 25% in the past seven years.

The company is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025, which aims to see it become the leading aviation group in Africa. This aims to see the Ethiopian Aviation Academy becoming the most competitive and leading aviation training centre in Africa by 2025.

4: Air France

Ranked seventh in the world for World’s Best Airline, Air France aims to place the health and safety of its customers and staff at the heart of its operations. The airline is the flag carrier of France, has operated since 1933, and flies passengers and cargo worldwide to 201 destinations in 78 countries

Continuing to enforce a commitment to health and safety in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has more flexible tickets and continues to upgrade its services, including new business class seats and travel options.

3: Turkish Airlines​​​​​​​

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Ranked sixth in the world for World’s Best Airline, moving up a ranking from 7th in 2022, Turkish Airlines received four awards at the 2023 World Airline Awards. This included the highly competitive award for Best Airline in Europe.

As of 2022, the airline operates scheduled services to 340 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, making it the largest mainline carrier in the world by number of passenger destinations. Its safety, combined with good in-flight amenities, continues to establish the airline as one of the best in the world.

2: Emirates

Emirates, the largest airline in UAE, was ranked fourth in the world for World’s Best Airline in 2023. As of 2019, it was also the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 3,600 flights per week from Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport.

The airline also ranked ninth in the world for World’s Best Cabin Staff, which can be attributed to its ongoing success of employing more than 103,363 high-quality people from more than 160 nationalities.

In addition to its achievements, in May 2023 Emirates announced a significant commitment of US$200mn over the next three years to fund research and development around the reduction of fossil fuels in commercial aviation.

1: Qatar Airways​​​​​​​

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Despite being knocked off the top spot this year, Qatar Airways still claimed nine award wins this year and is ranked second overall in the world. Being the national airline of the State of Qatar, the airline claims to be a trendsetter on-board as its products focus on comfort, fine cuisine, the latest in-flight audio and video entertainment and award-winning customer service.

The airline continues to dominate in its business class in 2023, having won the awards for World’s Best Business Class, the World’s Best Business Class Seat, the World’s Best Business Class Lounge (the Al Mourjan lounge at Hamad International Airport), the World’s Best Business Class Lounge Dining and the Best Airline in the Middle East.

In addition, the airline ranked sixth for World’s Best Cabin Staff and third place for World’s Cleanest Airlines.

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