The 10 best airlines to fly in North America

Air CanadaAn Air Canada Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
  • Consumer aviation website Skytrax recently released their ranking of the best airlines in the world.
  • Asian and European airlines dominate the top of the rankings.
  • Airlines for North America once again struggled in the Skytrax rankings.
  • No airline from North America cracked the top 25 while no US airline managed to crack the top 35.
  • For the second year in a row, Air Canada was named the best airline in North America by Skytrax.
  • Delta finished as the highest ranked US airline.

Consumer aviation website Skytrax has released updated rankings of the best airlines in the world. For 2018, airlines from Asia and Europe such as Singapore, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, and Lufthansa once again dominate the upper echelons of the list.

Airlines from those two continents have taken the top spot every year since 2001.

Unfortunately, North American airlines once against struggled to keep up with the pack. In fact, no airline from the US, Canada, and Mexico managed to crack the top 25.

The highest ranked North American airline doesn’t appear on the list until Air Canada in 30th place.

“We are very pleased that Air Canada has again been recognised as the Best Airline in North America by the highly respected Skytrax World Airline Awards,” Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu said in a statement. “This is the seventh time in nine years Air Canada has been honored with this award, demonstrating our successful transformation into a leading global carrier.”

No US airline cracked the top 35. Delta got the closest with a 37th place finish.

In fact, major players like United Airlines and Aeromexico both missed out on a top 10 finish in the Skytrax rankings for the best airlines in North America.

The Skytrax rankings are based on the impressions of 20.36 million travellers from more than 100 different countries. The unpaid survey, which covered more than 335 airlines, measured 49 parameters ranging from boarding procedures to seat comfort to the quality of service.

Here are the 10 best airlines in North America, according to the results of the Skytrax survey:


10. Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines

Overall rank: 77

Why it’s awesome: Hawaiian Airlines is a bit of a niche player as far as its position in the market goes. Even though it’s among the most prominent airline brands in the US, it’s dedicated to connecting the Hawaiian islands with the rest of the world.

Hawaiian Airlines currently operates a fleet of new Airbus A321neo and Airbus A330 airliners. It’s also phasing out its fleet of Boeing 767 airlines with new 787 Dreamliners on the way.

See additional airline information at Skytrax.


9. American Airlines

American Airlines

Overall rank: 71

Why it’s awesome: American Airlines is the world’s largest airline. The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier was formed following the 2015 merger of US Airways and American Airlines.

American Airlines operates a fleet of around 950 mainline jets.

See additional airline information at Skytrax.


8. Air Transat

Air Transat

Overall rank: 68

Why it’s awesome: Air Transat is a Montreal-based leisure airline. Founded in 1987, Air Transat’s business is built around package vacation deals to 60 destinations across, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas.

For 2018, Air Transat was named World’s Best Leisure Airline.

See additional airline information at Skytrax.


7. Porter Airlines

Overall rank: 62

Why it’s awesome: Porter Airlines is a small Toronto, Canada-based regional carrier. Porter is known for its fleet of Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprop airliners and its home base at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. The airport is located on an island in Lake Ontario next to downtown Toronto.

See additional airline information at Skytrax.


6. Southwest Airlines

Southwest

Overall rank: 57

Why it’s awesome: Southwest Airlines is the largest low-cost airline in the world and the largest operator of the Boeing 737. The Dallas-based airline is famous for the “Southwest Effect” which is a reference to the lowering of prices once the carrier enters a market.

For 2018, Southwest also won the award for Best Low-Cost Airline in the US.

See additional airline information at Skytrax.


5. WestJet

WestJet

Overall rank: 54

Why it’s awesome: WestJet is Canada’s second largest airline. WestJet entered service in 1997 and now boasts a fleet of more than 120 Boeing narrow-body and wide-body jets.

This year, the carrier, which is based in Calgary, also won the award for Best Low-Cost Airline in North America.

See additional airline information at Skytrax.


4. JetBlue

JetBlue

Overall rank: 42

Why it’s awesome: Founded in 1998, JetBlue has developed into a leading boutique carrier in North America.

See additional airline information at Skytrax.


3. Alaska Airlines

Alaska

Overall rank: 38

Why it’s awesome: Alaska Airlines is now the fifth largest airline in the US following its 2016 acquisition of Virgin America. The Seattle, Washington-based carrier has earned top marks over the years for its friendly and relaxed service.

See additional airline information at Skytrax.


2. Delta Air Lines

Delta

Overall rank: 37

Why it’s awesome: Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is the second largest airline in the world. The airline earned rave reviews for its Delta One business class suite and its new Premium Select international premium economy service.

Delta is updating its fleet with more than 300 new Airbus jet expected to enter service over the next few years.

See additional airline information at Skytrax.


1. Air Canada

Air Canada

Overall rank: 30

Why it’s awesome: Established in 1937, Air Canada has been named the best airline in North America for the second year in a row. The Canadian flag carrier is in the midst of a major fleet and product overhaul with new Boeing and Airbus jets expected to enter service in 2019.

Air Canada also took home the awards for Best Business Class in North America and Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in North America.

See additional airline information at Skytrax.

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