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Here's Why Air New Zealand Is The World's Top Airline

Move over, Singapore Airlines. A Kiwi competitor has stolen the crown you had for the past year and is now declared the world's best airline.

When it comes to aviation product quality as well as safety, Air New Zealand has taken over the global top spot, edging second-place finisher Singapore Airlines, with ANA, Qantas and Cathay Pacific.

Adjudicators AirlineRatings.com picked Air New Zealand over the rest of the world's fleets in a number of categories, from in-flight ingenuity and aircraft conditions to its safety record and customer service.

This year's award marks the sixth time the Auckland-based carrier has earned the top spot.

3 Ecological Categories

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The company especially scored high marks in ecological categories, which has become more of a pressing issue given the potential doom and gloom of recent reports on global climate change. One adjudicator was especially impressed that Air New Zealand had a relatively young fleet of aircraft with a number of features to reduce the company's carbon footprint, which has decreased by 22 percent over the past decade.

That's well above the industry average. Additional eco-friendly measures include the introduction of bio-fuels, more efficient flight paths and electric-powered ground support vehicles at airports and hangars.

2 Other Distinctions

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Air New Zealand scored highly in other categories as well, although some of the top five managed to take home titles in other distinctions. Australian company Qantas won awards for best domestic airline service and best lounges. And while it was ousted from top spot overall, Singapore Airlines was victorious in the best first class service category.

The top U.S. airline was Delta, which was cited as the best service for the Americas, with Lufthansa taking top spot for Europe, Emirates beating its competitors in Africa and the Middle East, and Cathay Pacific Airways winning in the Asia-Pacific region.

1 Overall Top 20

Air New Zealand

Delta was also on of three American-based airlines that managed to crack the overall top 20 and it was the only U.S. company giant to make the cut. Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines also managed to make it into that select group.

Judging criteria for AirlineRatings.com in arriving at its annual decisions include industry and government safety audits, investment ratings, customer relations, profitability and passenger reviews.

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