Four Middle East carriers among the world's top 10 airlines

16 August 2023 2 min. read
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A new global benchmark has shown that Middle Eastern airlines rank among the top in the world, with Emirates, Qatar Airways, Saudia, and Turkish Airlines all landing spots in the global top 10 rankings.

The study, carried out by Aviation network Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEA) and consultancy firm Yates & Partners (Y&P) consists of two parts. For the first – provided by APEA – the researchers asked more than 1 million passengers about their travel experiences with some 600 airlines.

Respondents were asked to rate various aspects of their air travel like seats, legroom, the food and drinks, the on-board entertainment system, the friendliness of the staff, and the punctuality of the flights.

Four Middle East carriers among the world's top 10 airlines

Out of the massive survey, the researches assembled a top 10 representing the ‘top’ and ‘most passenger friendly’ airlines.

One of the top airlines is Dubai-based Emirates, founded in 1985 by the government of the United Arab Emirates. Emirates is with a turnover of more than $29 billion (fiscal year 2022/23) the largest airline in the Middle East.

Qatar Airways is another of the top 10 rated airlines. Founded in 1993 and based in the capital Doha, Qatar Airways is wholly owned by the government of Qatar. During its last fiscal year, Qatar Airways generated revenues to the tune of $21 billion.

Saudia, established in 1945, is another Gulf carrier that was highly regarded by the respondents. A member of the prestigious airline alliance SkyTeam, Jeddah-headquartered Saudia has a fleet of around 150 aircraft that fly to 120+ destinations.

Istanbul-based Turkish Airlines was founded in 1933, about ten years after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and is Turkey’s the flag carrier. During the last fiscal year, Turkish Airlines earned about $18.5 billion.

Air travel has bounced back almost completely from the devastating lull in activity during the worst of Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions, but in some areas that is not a total rebound. One recent study found that business air travel had not seen the same resurgence as tourist air travel, likely because online meetings and video calling has become the norm since pandemic times.