South Korea's Asiana named World's Best Airline

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Sydney, May 21 (ANI): South Korea's Asiana Airlines has been named the airline of the year at the annual World Airline Awards in Hamburg, Germany.

The annual awards by Skytrax, based on surveys of more than 17 million passengers, and carried out over 10 months, were announced on May 20.

Passengers rate airlines on customer service, comfort of seating, quality of food, lounges and cabin crew.

Asiana had ranked third last year, and Skytrax chairman Edward Plaisted praised the airline's commitment to customer service.

"Asiana Airlines are clearly meeting and exceeding their customer's expectations," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.

Cathay Pacific, which had topped last year's list, slipped back to fourth place, while Singapore maintained its spot as the number two airline.

Asian airlines dominated the award categories, with the full service airlines joined by AirAsia winning the Best Low-Cost Airline award and Garuda Indonesia picking up the Most Improved award.

Qantas dropped to seventh place down from sixth last year. In 2008, it was rated the world's third best airline.

Air New Zealand overtook Qantas to become the best-rated airline in the Australia/Pacific region, climbing from eighth last year to fifth this year.

Qantas took out two awards for its premium economy class - Best Premium Economy and Best Premium Economy Seat. Virgin Blue also received an award for best low-cost carrier in the Australia/Pacific region.

The final top 10 ranking in the awards were:

1. Asiana Airlines

2. Singapore Airlines

3. Qatar Airways

4. Cathay Pacific

5. Air New Zealand

6. Etihad Airways

7. Qantas Airways

8. Emirates

9. Thai Airways

10. Malaysia Airlines (ANI)

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