Skytrax (originally known as Inflight Research Services) is a United Kingdom-based consultancy which runs an airline and airport review and ranking site. In 2012, the online investigations company KwikChex filed five complaints with the UK Advertising Standards Authority. The authority upheld all five complaints and Skytrax agreed to modify some promotional wording. Questions have also been raised about Skytrax's objectivity and methodology.
Skytrax conducts research for commercial airlines, as well as taking surveys from international travelers to rate cabin staff, airports, airlines, airline lounges, in-flight entertainment, on-board catering, and several other elements of air travel. Apart from these evaluations, Skytrax has an airline forum where passengers give potential passengers insights and opinions about an airline. The website also hosts flight reviews, flight checks, and satisfaction surveys. Skytrax holds an annual World Airline Awards and World Airport Awards, as well as the ranking for airlines and airports.
Doubts about objectivity
Skytrax claims on its website that it has no economic ties to the airlines and airports that are presented with Skytrax awards, which it says are based on votes by passengers. In fact any person may vote, one vote per IP address. Skytrax provides remunerated consulting services to airlines and airports, and there are doubts as to whether this arrangement allows Skytrax to be objective in the awards that it issues, to wit:
In 2012, the online investigations company KwikChex filed five complaints with the UK Advertising Standards Authority related to statements on the Skytrax web site describing the volume and reliability of their reviews as well as the official status and update frequency of their ratings. The ASA ruled that there was no evidence that Skytrax had followed the robust procedures it claimed it had in place to check all reviews were genuine. Although Skytrax argued that every review underwent a four-stage authentication process, it said it was unable to provide proof it had followed its own procedures as customer emails were deleted 24 hours after a review was submitted. The authority upheld all five complaints and Skytrax agreed to modify some promotional wording.
The principal partner appears to be Skytrax’s founder Edward Plaisted, whose background in aviation, or outside of aviation, is unknown. Skift has tried on more than one occasion to get insights from the Skytrax on its methodology, metrics, and business organization with no success. Questions answered by its press representative were later claimed to be off the record, and statements given for previous stories were asked to be retracted.
Skytrax's 2019 downgrading of Turkish Airlines to a three-star carrier, subsequent to its 2018 pulling out of Skytrax, elicited much criticism and accusations of dishonesty in the awards and doubts as to whether Skytrax actually uses the methodology that it states that it uses. Similar criticism arose when Skytrax awarded Lufthansa an award for a future cabin interior in 2019, subsequent to a consulting project that it had completed for the airline.
Skytrax presents awards annually to airports and airlines that it considers noteworthy in their performance.
Airline of the year
|2001||Emirates||Singapore Airlines||Cathay Pacific|
|2002||Emirates||Cathay Pacific||Singapore Airlines|
|2003||Cathay Pacific||Emirates||Singapore Airlines|
|2004||Singapore Airlines||Emirates||Cathay Pacific|
|2006||British Airways||Qantas||Cathay Pacific|
|2007||Singapore Airlines||Thai Airways||Cathay Pacific|
|2008||Singapore Airlines||Cathay Pacific||Qantas|
|2009||Cathay Pacific||Singapore Airlines||Asiana Airlines|
|2010||Asiana Airlines||Singapore Airlines||Qatar Airways|
|2011||Qatar Airways||Singapore Airlines||Asiana Airlines|
|2012||Qatar Airways||Asiana Airlines||Singapore Airlines|
|2013||Emirates||Qatar Airways||Singapore Airlines|
|2014||Cathay Pacific||Qatar Airways||Singapore Airlines|
|2015||Qatar Airways||Singapore Airlines||Cathay Pacific|
|2016||Emirates||Qatar Airways||Singapore Airlines|
|2017||Qatar Airways||Singapore Airlines||All Nippon Airways|
|2018||Singapore Airlines||Qatar Airways||All Nippon Airways|
|2019||Qatar Airways||Singapore Airlines||All Nippon Airways|
|2020||Singapore Airlines||All Nippon Airways||Qatar Airways|
Airport of the year
|1999||Amsterdam Airport Schiphol||None||None|
|2000||Singapore Changi Airport||None||None|
|2001||Hong Kong International Airport||Kuala Lumpur International Airport||Singapore Changi Airport|
|2002||Hong Kong International Airport||Singapore Changi Airport||Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport|
|2003||Hong Kong International Airport||Singapore Changi Airport||Dubai International Airport|
|2004||Hong Kong International Airport||Singapore Changi Airport||Amsterdam Airport Schiphol|
|2005||Hong Kong International Airport||Singapore Changi Airport||Incheon International Airport|
|2006||Singapore Changi Airport||Hong Kong International Airport||Munich Airport|
|2007||Hong Kong International Airport||Incheon International Airport||Singapore Changi Airport|
|2008||Hong Kong International Airport||Singapore Changi Airport||Incheon International Airport|
|2009||Incheon International Airport||Hong Kong International Airport||Singapore Changi Airport|
|2010||Singapore Changi Airport||Incheon International Airport||Hong Kong International Airport|
|2011||Hong Kong International Airport||Singapore Changi Airport||Incheon International Airport|
|2012||Incheon International Airport||Singapore Changi Airport||Hong Kong International Airport|
|2013||Singapore Changi Airport||Incheon International Airport||Amsterdam Schiphol Airport|
|2014||Singapore Changi Airport||Incheon International Airport||Munich Airport|
|2015||Singapore Changi Airport||Incheon International Airport||Munich Airport|
|2016||Singapore Changi Airport||Incheon International Airport||Munich Airport|
|2017||Singapore Changi Airport||Tokyo International Airport||Incheon International Airport|
|2018||Singapore Changi Airport||Incheon International Airport||Tokyo International Airport|
|2019||Singapore Changi Airport||Tokyo International Airport||Incheon International Airport|
|2020||Singapore Changi Airport||Tokyo International Airport||Hamad International Airport|
The World's 5-Star Airlines
Skytrax currently certifies only its top-10-rated airlines with 5 stars.
|All Nippon Airways||Star Alliance||2013–present|
|Asiana Airlines||Star Alliance||2007–present|
|Cathay Pacific||Oneworld||2001–2002, 2004, 2006–present|
|EVA Air||Star Alliance||2016–present|
|Singapore Airlines||Star Alliance||2001–2002, 2004, 2006–present|
Former 5-Star airlines
|Ansett Australia||Star Alliance||2001–2002|
|Malaysia Airlines||Oneworld||2001, 2005–2013|
Airline with the Best Airport Services
|2013||All Nippon Airways||Asiana Airlines||Korean Air|
|2014||All Nippon Airways||EVA Air||Thai Airways|
|2015||All Nippon Airways||EVA Air||Garuda Indonesia|
|2016||All Nippon Airways||EVA Air||Thai Airways|
|2017||All Nippon Airways||EVA Air||Thai Airways|
|2018||EVA Air||All Nippon Airways||Cathay Pacific|
Best Inflight Entertainment
|2013||Emirates||Singapore Airlines||Cathay Pacific|
|2014||Emirates||Singapore Airlines||Turkish Airlines|
|2015||Emirates||Qatar Airways||Singapore Airlines|
|2016||Emirates||Singapore Airlines||Qatar Airways|
|2017||Emirates||Qatar Airways||Singapore Airlines|
|2018||Emirates||Singapore Airlines||Qatar Airways|
|2019||Emirates||Qatar Airways||Singapore Airlines|
Best Aircraft Cabin Cleanliness
|2013||All Nippon Airways||Asiana Airlines||Korean Air|
|2014||Asiana Airlines||All Nippon Airways||Singapore Airlines|
|2015||EVA Air||Singapore Airlines||All Nippon Airways|
|2016||Cathay Pacific||EVA Air||All Nippon Airways|
|2017||EVA Air||All Nippon Airways||Japan Airlines|
|2018||All Nippon Airways||EVA Air||Asiana Airlines|
|2019||EVA Air||Japan Airlines||All Nippon Airways|
|2020||Singapore Airlines||Asiana Airlines||All Nippon Airways|
World's Best Regional Airlines (Short haul flight)
|2013||Cathay Dragon (formerly Dragonair)||Aegean Airlines||Bangkok Airways|
|2014||Bangkok Airways||Cathay Dragon (formerly Dragonair)||Aegean Airlines|
|2015||Cathay Dragon (formerly Dragonair)||Bangkok Airways||Aegean Airlines|
|2016||Bangkok Airways||Cathay Dragon (formerly Dragonair)||Hong Kong Airlines|
|2017||Bangkok Airways||Hong Kong Airlines||Cathay Dragon (formerly Dragonair)|
|2018||Bangkok Airways||Cathay Dragon (formerly Dragonair)||Alaska Airlines|
|2019||Cathay Dragon (formerly Dragonair)||jetBlue Airways|
World's Best Airline Alliance
World's Best Airports
|1||Singapore Changi Airport||1||1|
|2||Haneda International Airport||2||3|
|3||Hamad International Airport||4||5|
|4||Incheon International Airport||3||2|
|6||Hong Kong International Airport||5||4|
|7||Narita International Airport||9||11|
|8||Chubu Centrair International Airport||6||7|
|9||Amsterdam Schiphol Airport||14||12|
|10||Kansai International Airport||11||13|
World's Cleanest Airports
|1||Haneda International Airport||1|
|2||Incheon International Airport||4|
|3||Singapore Changi Airport||3|
|4||Narita International Airport||5|
|5||Hamad International Airport||6|
|6||Chubu Centrair International Airport||2|
|7||Hong Kong International Airport||7|
|9||Kansai International Airport||9|
World's Best Airport Terminals
|1||Incheon International Airport – T2||N/A|
|2||Singapore Changi Airport – T3||2|
|3||Heathrow Airport – T2||4|
|4||Paris Charles de Gaulle – T2M||N/A|
|5||Heathrow Airport – T5||1|
|6||Munich Airport – T2||3|
|7||Singapore Changi Airport – T4||6|
|8||Haneda International Airport – International Terminal||7|
|9||Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport – T2||9|
|10||Madrid-Barajas Airport – T4||9|
World's Best Transit Airports
|1||Incheon International Airport||1|
|2||Singapore Changi Airport||2|
|3||Hamad International Airport||5|
|4||Haneda International Airport||4|
|5||Narita International Airport||7|
|6||Hong Kong International Airport||3|
|7||Amsterdam Schiphol Airport||10|
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