The awards, voted for by readers of the UK’s top consumer magazine, were announced at the British Museum, with judging based on the witty pun 'Who Cares, Wins'.
It hoped to reward companies that provided the best customer service and the judges said Air New Zealand performed exceptionally well in the latest Which? Airline satisfactions survey, scoring a maximum five-star rating out of five in almost every category, including the quality of its online check-in, seat allocation, boarding arrangements, cleanliness (even with the recycled plastic cutlery), inflight entertainment and cabin staff.
Air New Zealand, which also won the Air Transport World airline of the year award in January, received a value-for-money rating of 89 percent versus the industry average of 66 percent, with 98 percent of passengers saying they would recommend the airline to a friend.
“To win a Which? Award, not only must a company offer outstanding products or services, it must also deliver exceptional value and a great customer experience,” said Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith. “Air New Zealand is a deserving winner of this year’s Which? Award for Best Airline.”
It beat the other finalists Singapore Airlines and Emirates.
Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe laughed a maniacal laugh and said, in his actual voice, not in sign language, that the UK market was one of the most competitive, with all the world’s top carriers operating there. So, for the 36th largest airline to beat them all, he says, is extremely satisfying (one can only imagine what Fyfe's response would have been if they didn't win).
Air New Zealand is also a finalist in the Skytrax Airline of the Year Awards, which will be announced shortly.