This article looks at the 20 best airlines in the world in 2024. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis of the airline industry, you may go to 5 Best Airlines in the World in 2024.

Global Air Travel

The airline industry plays a pivotal role in the global economy by connecting destinations across the planet, facilitating trade and tourism, and providing excellence in mid-air hospitality. The industry turned over an estimated revenue of $896 Billion in 2023, with projections indicating a rise to $964 billion in 2024.

Current outlook of the airline industry suggests continued growth as all regions barring the Asia-Pacific are set to surpass pre-COVID passenger traffic in 2024. IATA predicted that the number of global passengers is expected to increase to 4.7 Billion passengers in 2024, which would be a 200 Million increase from 2019. Consequently, revenue from passengers is expected to increase to $717 Billion in 2024 (2023: $642 Billion). At the same time, revenue per passenger mile is also expected to increase by 1.8% (YoY) in 2024.

While these numbers show that the airline industry is well-poised to recuperate from the effects of COVID, there are a few caveats to these forecasts. One such caveat is the rejuvenation of travel in major markets such as China. China was the first and one of the most heavily impacted countries during COVID-19. Post-pandemic, the country continued to implement strict visa restrictions, meaning that travel in and out of the country has failed to pick up in the same manner as the rest of the world. As per VOA News, in 2023, China had 35 million border crossings by foreign internationals. This figure is just one-third of the 97 million border crossings by foreign internationals that were recorded in 2019.

However, the Chinese government has taken definitive steps to boost its travel industry. In the last quarter of 2023, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a 15-day visa-free entry policy for 6 countries. This includes France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia. In February of this year, this policy was extended to 6 other European countries including Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Although it’s unlikely these incentives will be able to increase travel in the country immediately, it feels that these policies are part of a broader strategy by the Chinese Government to increase border-crossing and definitely a step in the right direction for airlines invested in the country’s travel industry.

The Airline Industry

While the demand for air travel is continuing to accelerate, the supply side shows signs of increased competition for market share. According to Finances Online, there are approximately 1100 commercial airlines in the world in 2024. It takes incredible effort and persistence for the best airlines in the world to distinguish themselves from the rest and provide travel experiences that continue to get customers in the door.

At the same time, the payoff for being among the best airlines in the world can be massive. In 2023, the top 10 airline groups in the world each earned a revenue of over $10 Billion. Moreover, Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL), the industry leader in terms of revenue, earned a profit of $4.6 Billion in the year, highlighting how generous revenues in the industry can be. The IATA has forecasted that net profits in the Global Airline Industry in 2024 will be over $25 Billion.

Striving to become the best airline in the world is like aiming for the gold in a competitive sporting event, where every move counts, and the competition is fierce. It requires incredible foresight and maneuverability for these airlines to maximize return on their operations whilst ensuring customer experience transcends their competitors. However, even the slightest hiccup will result in your competitors swooping down and claiming the hearts and wallets of the passengers you had so meticulously incubated.

From the customer’s perspective, the decision of choosing the right airline depends on several factors. Firstly, it’s the in-flight experience itself. Every client, no matter the class of their cabin, expects airlines to provide a seamless service with a myriad of amenities. Secondly, the condition of the airplane, including both its safety standards and aesthetics, is an incredibly important factor. Even the slightest failure in ensuring well-being can have dire consequences, even for the best airline in the world. Lastly, like any other activity in life, the cost of travel is a critical decision-making factor. In the present age, passengers have the luxury of using online websites to compare ticket prices from the comfort of their homes, and undercutting your competitors is one of the most effective ways of gaining clientele.

There are also a range of other factors that help the best airlines in the world stand out. Lately, airlines have become wary of the fact that environmental sustainability will comprise an important aspect of future travel. Consequently, as of 2021, IATA member airlines have committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions from their operations by 2050. Additionally, major airlines such as Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and British Airways have begun to (or at least promised to) introduce Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) into their aircrafts.

With these factors considered, join us as we look the best airlines in the world in 2024. If you feel that your choice of airlines is exclusively dependent on safety, you may want to view our list of 20 Safest Airlines in the World for 2024. You may also find our list of 20 Largest Airlines in the World in 2024 to be extremely insightful.

20 Best Airlines in the World in 202420 Best Airlines in the World in 2024

20 Best Airlines in the World in 2024

20 Best Airlines in the World in 2024


To develop our list of best airlines in the world in 2024, we initially developed a list of airlines recommended as the best airlines in the world using several credible sources. We then used websites such as TripAdvisor, SkyTrax, and AirlineRatings to obtain scores for each airline across different metrics. This included service quality, value for money, and safety, as well as the overall ratings which encompassed additional factors such as food, in-flight amenities, and customer service. By accumulating these scores, we developed a scorecard which was then sorted in a descending order, out of which the top 20 airlines were selected as the best airlines in the world in 2024.

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that tracks the movements of corporate insiders and hedge funds. By using a similar consensus approach, we identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). Whether you are a beginner investor or a professional one looking for the best stocks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

Here are 20 Best Airlines in the World in 2024.

20. Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA)

Insider Monkey Score: 11.5

Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5

We start our list of best airlines in the world in 2024 with Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:HA). Although its operations are restricted to and from the islands of Hawaii, Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA) with its brand Hawaiian Airlines checks all the boxes for an incredible airline. With 61 planes and an average fleet age of 12.2 years, the airline was named as the Reader’s Favorite Domestic Airline by Travel + Leisure.

Moreover, in 2024, the airline will be unveiling Leihōkū, a new business class cabin in a selection of its airplanes. The cabin has been designed with features akin to Hawaii’s volcanic vista, while the roof will feature a simulated skylight. Moreover, in its efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA) plans on transitioning to a lower-emission biofuel as soon as 2029.

19. JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU)

Insider Monkey Score: 11.7

Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5

In the past, JetBlue Airways Corporation’s (NASDAQ: JBLU) USP was its low-cost services. However, in the last decade, the airline has slightly shifted from this strategy by adding routes and amenities that other low-cost airlines are not providing. For example, the airline markets itself as having flights with the most legroom for economy class passengers in the US. As a result, its current strategy is to provide a superior travel experience at budget friendly prices. Apart from domestic airports, JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU) also offers flights to London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, and several Caribbean countries. Its exceptional service, adequate safety standards, and value for money contribute towards making it one of the best airlines in the world in 2024.

18. British Airways

Insider Monkey Score: 12.5

Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5

British Airways operates flights to over 75 countries and is renowned for its exceptional service. The airline is often lauded for its punctuality and believes that this is an important part of its customer service proposition. In addition, the airline is considered to offer an extremely safe experience, and has not been involved in any accident leading to fatalities among the crew and passengers since 1976. The airline announced a £7 billion transformation plan recently, which involves use of AI and other tools to ensure its departures can be improved even further. The plan also involves other updates such as the addition of new routes, new lounges, and a commitment to increased use of next-generation fuels to 10% by 2030.

17. Virgin Australia

Insider Monkey Score: 13.1

Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5

Virgin Australia is Australia’s second largest airline and is considered the best airline under the Virgin brand. The airline is popular for being a relatively low-cost airline that still manages to provide a more than acceptable in-flight experience. AirlineRatings awarded Virgin Australia as the airline with the best cabin crew in 2023. Recently, the airline announced that some of its cabins would soon be allowing pets to accompany passengers. Thus, apart from its excellent staff, the airline might soon become an extremely convenient travel option for pet parents.

16. Swiss International Air Lines

Insider Monkey Score: 13.2

Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5

Swiss International Air Lines, owned by Lufthansa, is regarded as one of the most seamless travel experiences in the skies. The airline was recently voted Europe’s Leading Airline – First Class and Europe’s Leading Airline to Asia in the 2024 World Travel Awards. For economy class passengers, the airline offers plenty of legroom and comfortable seats, making it a convenient choice for long haul flights. With an average fleet age of 9.9 years, it planes tend to be equipped with most modern amenities, especially for its Swiss First Cabins. The airline flies to over 50 countries in the world and provides a convenient itinerary for a connecting flight to many destinations in mainland Europe.

15. Etihad Airways

Insider Monkey Score: 13.3

Trip Advisor Rating: 3

Owned by the Etihad Etisalat Company, Etihad Airways is a UAE based airline that is famous for its exceptional service standards and extravagant in-flight amenities. It is one of the best airlines in the world in 2024, complemented for having some of the best amenities among all major international flights. Moreover, it offers an extensive network of destinations to locations all around the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Additionally, it carries an excellent reputation for customer centricity, including a culture of providing prompt and accommodating services in case of inconveniences.

14. Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL)

Insider Monkey Score: 13.5

Trip Advisor Rating: 4

Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) has been hailed as being the best airline in North America for quite some time. The airline is considered extremely reliable, having minimal delays in takeoffs whilst also having fewer involuntary bumps than other major US airlines. In 2023, the airline bumped just 2 out of 161 Million passengers in 2023. Moreover, Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE: DAL) also offers plenty of loyalty and code-sharing incentives, making it easier for members to plan their trips with flexibility.

13. Turkish Airlines

Insider Monkey Score: 13.7

Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5

Turkish Airlines flies to over 120 countries, making it the largest airline in the world in terms of passenger destinations. Its incredible network of destinations is unrivalled and can therefore cater to passengers from all parts of the planet. The airline provides unique amenities, such as an amenity kit for all passenger classes on long haul flights. It has won many accolades over the years to certify its position as one of the best airlines in the world. Moreover, the airline is continually expanding its operations through the introduction of new routes and improved carriers. According to CEO Bilal Ekşi, the airline plans on increasing its fleet to 813 planes by 2033.

12. Lufthansa

Insider Monkey Score: 13.9

Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5

Lufthansa is one of Europe’s largest airlines and happens to own several other major European airlines such as the Swiss International Air Lines. Its well renowned for both convenience and an incredible first-class experience. A trip inside Lufthansa’s first-class cabins generally involves a collection of red and white wines along with Caviar. Lufthansa is also famous for leading the industry in technological advancements. It was the first airline in the world to incorporate Wi-Fi capabilities, something that has changed the experience of air travel forever. Like other major airlines, Lufthansa is working towards reducing its CO2 emissions to net-zero by 2050, however, it has gone a step further by aiming to cut its carbon footprint to half of 2019 volumes by 2030.

11. Air New Zealand

Insider Monkey Score: 14.1

Trip Advisor Rating: 4

In comparison to other airlines on the list, Air New Zealand has a shorter network of flights, flying to approximately 20 countries in total. That said, it is consistently ranked among the best airlines in the world owing to its excellent reputation for safety and well-being. It is also renowned for its in-flight entertainment, which makes it a wonderful choice for long haul and family trips. Air New Zealand led our list of 20 Safest Airlines in the World for 2024.

10. Air France

Insider Monkey Score: 14.4

Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5

Air France flies to nearly 200 destinations across 80 countries, thus providing connectivity to locations around the planet. The airline is popular for offering delicious in-flight food and catering services. It is also considered to be extremely comfortable and reliable. According to AirFleets, it has an inventory of over 200 planes with an average fleet age of 13.3 years, which is somewhat higher than most top airlines. The airline recently revealed that many of its flight operations in the region were severely impacted in the past year, contributing to a loss in the final quarter of 2023. However, despite this setback the company generated a record turnover of 30 Billion Euros for the full year.

9. Korean Air

Insider Monkey Score: 14.5

Trip Advisor Rating: 4

Korean Air has had quite a history of crashes and incidents, however, the airline has had an incredible turnaround in the last 2 decades and is now one of the best airlines in the world in 2024. The airline recently earned the award for best cuisine in the Global Traveler’s Awards and has also earned a 5-star rating from APEX. Korean Air now flies to approximately 50 countries and transported over 100 Million passengers in 2023.

8. Qantas Airways

Insider Monkey Score: 15.8

Trip Advisor Rating: 3.5

Qantas Airways is Australia’s largest airline company and flies to over 30 countries. The airline is considered to be one of the safest operators in the industry and has gained an incredibly loyal base of travelers for this reason. Recently, the airline posted a 13% decrease in annualized profits for its HY24 financials. However, the company remains positive regarding future outlook and claimed that the decrease in profits were a result of decrease in airfare that had been implemented due to its focus on affordable air travel.

7. EVA Air

Insider Monkey Score: 16.8

Trip Advisor Rating: 4

EVA Air is Taiwan’s second largest airline. Although the airline offers no routes for Africa, it has an impressive catalogue of destinations in the Asia Pacific. It has an average fleet age of 8.5 years and has announced the purchase of 33 additional Airbus jets earlier this year. EVA Air has consistently managed to take plaudits for being one of the best airlines in the world. The airline is also a part of the Star Alliance, meaning that its members have the flexibility of redeeming their loyalty points on routes offered by other partner airlines.

6. Cathay Pacific

Insider Monkey Score: 17. 3

Trip Advisor Rating: 4

Cathay Pacific is one of the best airlines in Hong Kong and flies to approximately 200 destinations worldwide. It is one of the founding members of the Oneworld Alliance, meaning that its members can enjoy codeshare privileges with several partners around the world. Cathay Pacific was among the hardest hit airlines in the world during the pandemic and posted losses in each of the first 3 years of the pandemic. The sluggish recovery was a consequence of Hong Kong’s prolonged travel restrictions and strenuous protocols. However, the company recently announced its full year results for 2023 and confirmed that it had finally posted a net profit of $1.25 Billion. The airline is also confident on reaching pre-COVID flight levels by the first quarter of 2025.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best Airlines in the World in 2024.

Suggested Articles:

Disclosure: none. 20 Best Airlines in the World in 2024 is originally published on Insider Monkey.

Source link