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The world’s top airline for 2018 might surprise you

For the fifth year in a row, safety and product rating site has named Air New Zealand the world's best airline for 2018.

For this year’s edition, editors were asked to consider 12 criteria: product rating, safety rating, passenger reviews, fleet age, operating profit, premium economy class, flat beds in business class, investment grade rating, environmental report, industrial issues, serious incidents and innovation.

No other carrier was able to break Air New Zealand’s five-year streak, which editors credit to a record-breaking financial performance, in-flight innovations, environmental record, young fleet and motivated staff.

One of the carrier’s most popular features is their economy class Skycouch, which can convert a three-seater into a larger lie-flat space for sleeping or relaxing, thanks to an additional fold-out footrest.

The top 10 list, meanwhile, is dominated by carriers in Oceania, Asia and the Middle East, with Qantas and Singapore Airlines rounding out the podium.

(Related: Top airlines with top wines)

Here are the winners: 

1. Air New Zealand
2. Qantas
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Virgin Australia
5. Virgin Atlantic
6. Etihad Airways
7. All Nippon Airways
8. Korean Air
9. Cathay Pacific
10. Japan Airlines

Best Domestic Airline Service, Best Catering and Best Lounges: Qantas
Best First Class and Best Cabin Crew: Singapore Airlines
Best Economy: Korean Air
Best Business Class: Virgin Australia
Best In-Flight Entertainment: Emirates

Excellence in Long-Haul Travel
Air Canada (Americas)
Virgin Atlantic (Europe)
Etihad Airways (Middle-East/Africa
Korean Air (Asia/Pacific)

vs/cd – Relaxnews

Photo credit: Air New Zealand