Qatar Airways has been announced as the Airline of the Year by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. This is in addition to five other awards including World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge, World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat, World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering and Best Airline in the Middle East.

The airline continues to stand alone at the top of the industry and has now won the main prize for an unprecedented 6th time (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and now 2021).

Excellence amidst challenging times

Known as the Oscars of the Aviation Industry, the 2021 Skytrax Awards covered the period from September 2019 to July 2021 with the results reflecting a mix of more normal travel times combined with travel during the pandemic. The extended period clearly demonstrated the resilience and flexibility of Qatar Airways, as it not only delivered continued excellence during normal times, but steadfastly continued flights and offered a lifeline to customers across the globe during the most challenging of times.

Qatar Airways also became the first global airline to receive the Skytrax COVID-19 Safety Rating in January 2021 while its home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), was voted the World’s Best Airport 2021 in August.

In addition, the airline also received recognition for its luxurious Al Mourjan Lounge, a calming oasis for travellers, which was voted the World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge. Meanwhile, the patented Qsuite remains the clear leader in business class luxury having been named as the World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat, with the premium cabin being voted World’s Best Business Class for the fifth year in succession.

The continued evolution of the food offering on board was also recognised as Qatar Airways scooped the World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering award, a fitting tribute to the ongoing development and enhancement of the food and beverage product. Finally, the airline was also announced as Best Airline in the Middle East, further emphasising passengers’ preference for Qatar Airways in the region due to its exceptional quality, global network, consistent reliability and flexibility, with every passenger journey experiencing HIA, the only Skytrax five-star airport in the region.

Qatar Airways has placed even greater emphasis on the passenger experience and biosafety during the pandemic to enhance service levels and provide reassurance to travellers. The consistent pursuit of innovation was reflected by the introduction of a new Business Class Suite on the Boeing 787-9 fleet,  UV cleaning between flights and touch-free inflight entertainment technology while industry-leading flexible rebooking options demonstrated the airline’s commitment to going above and beyond at every opportunity.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, HE Akbar Al Baker, said that being recognised as the World’s Best Airline for the sixth time is an incredible achievement for the airline.

… I want to thank our loyal passengers for this award. Having gone through one of the most challenging years in aviation history, this award is fitting recognition for all the hard work by the entire Qatar Airways family to take care of our passengers. We never abandoned them when they needed us the most, we kept flying to get people home, focused on biosafety to provide customer and employee reassurance and continued to innovate during this period.

He said that their goal continues to be the airline of choice for global travellers who are keen to explore with the World’s Best Airline, via the World’s Best Airport. Their constant commitment to passengers is to provide unrivalled experiences when they travel with Qatar Airways and these awards, according to him, acknowledge that they continue to get this right.

As Chair of oneworld, I would also like to congratulate the alliance on receiving the coveted 2021 award for Best Airline Alliance for its commitment to providing the highest level of service and convenience to frequent international travellers.

According to Skytrax Chief Executive Officer Edward Plaisted, the focus of their annual survey is for travellers to make their own personal choices as to which airline they consider to be best, and it is clear that Qatar Airways has maintained its high standards of innovation and service standards, both in more normal times and through the current global pandemic.

The full list of awards won by Qatar Airways at the 2021 World Airline Awards by Skytrax are:

  • Airline of the Year
  • World’s Best Business Class
  • World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge
  • World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat
  • World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering
  • Best Airline in the Middle East

The Skytrax World Airline Awards are independent and impartial, introduced in 1999 to provide a customer satisfaction study that was truly global. Travellers across the world vote in the largest airline passenger satisfaction survey to decide the award winners.

For more information about the Skytrax Awards, visit

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