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What is a 5-Star Airline?

  • avatar
    Jonathan Chum

Airlines are not created equal. Some offer excellent services, some average, and other low-quality services. In this era of consumer contempt, some airlines still maintain cultural values that have seen them achieve a 5-star rating. Some have maintained this status for several years, consecutively, thanks to their consistency in service delivery.


  • What is a 5-star airline?
  • Other airline ratings
  • Benefits of flying in a 5-star airline
  • Which airlines are rated 5-star?

What Is A 5-Star Airline?

A 5-star airline is an internationally recognized accolade that marks the highest form of excellence in service delivery and in-flight experience. Skytrax, a UK-based company, awards individual airlines with these ratings and has been doing this since 1999. A lot of inspection, evaluation, and appraisal is involved in giving these ratings rather than depending entirely on customer reviews, as these are not always accurate and consistent. However, the ratings are only available for registered airlines only, not for the general public. Some of the assessment elements include:

  • Staff friendliness
  • Cabin service
  • Flight attendant
  • Language skills

Other Airline Ratings

  • 4-Star Airline Rating - A 4-star airline rating is awarded to airlines with good overall performance.
  • 3-Star Airline Rating - A 3-star airline rating is awarded to airlines whose quality delivery is average. The rating represents a satisfactory standard.
  • 2-Star Airline Rating - Airlines awarded a 2-star rating provide low-quality performance and signifies inconsistency in service delivery.
  • 1-Star Rating – A 1-star rating represents very low product quality in the assessment areas and inconsistency in service delivery.

Benefits of Flying in A 5-star Airline

When flying in a 5-star airline, you can always be sure you'll have an excellent experience, just like you would in a 5-star hotel. You'll also enjoy better amenities than those available in airlines with lower ratings. Some of the things you'd enjoy include more space, comfortable seats, better cabin crew experience, and personalized treatment.

Which Airlines Are Rated 5-Star?

Not many airlines have achieved a 5-star rating. There are only ten as of now, which include:

Asiana Airlines

One of the most incredible things about Asiana airlines is their cabin experience. The airlines offer a lot of comfort to first-class passengers, with a living room, bedroom, and workspace. The business class is also descent with a large selection of beverages, cuisines, and top-notch amenities.

All Nippon Airways

ALL Nipon Airways (ANA) excels in so many things, one of the most notable ones being passengers’ comfort. The seats are incredibly comfortable, and passengers are provided with blankets and pillows. This airline has been awarded a 5-star rating for seven consecutive years. Other excellent product ratings include food and beverage, cleanliness, IFE, cabin staff, and ground staff experience. ANA was established back in 1959 with only two helicopters and has grown to be one of Asia's most prestigious airlines.

Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay Pacific was established in 1946. This airline serves close to 90 destinations across Asia, North America, Africa, the Pacific, and the Middle East. Cathay Pacific Airlines earned a 5star rating due to high-quality product and service delivery.

Eva Air

EVA Air has been awarded a 5-star rating since 2016, thanks to excellent service delivery both on the ground and on air. Eva has also been consistent in being keen on the small details such as cleanliness. This airline was established back in 1989, and it links 60 plus cities. Some of its core values include safety, flight punctuality, and friendly services.

It also has modern fleets, including the Boeing 777-300ER, A330-200 A330-300, and A321-200 aircraft.

Garuda Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia has earned a 5-star rating due to exemplary service in areas like arrival staff assistance, priority boarding and baggage services, washroom standards, and lounge area cleanliness. The airline is the second largest in Indonesia and operates an extensive number of flights across Australia, Asia, and Europe.

Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines is the only airline in china to have earned a 5-star rating status. Its product and service delivery levels match the international standards. The airline puts a lot of emphasis on delivering top-quality service and consistency in operations, best catering and amenities, friendly and professional cabin crew, and excellent language skills.

Japan Airlines

Japan airlines operate in more than 35 countries worldwide and 220 destinations. The 1951 established airline provides unique services in food, wine, and beverage provision, Wi-Fi service, staff efficiency, comfort items, cleanliness, cabin presence, among other elements. The airline has worked hard to transform its product and service delivery experience for domestic and international flights.

Korean Air

Excellency in service delivery, comfort, and in-flight entertainment are some of the things that made Korean air achieve a 5-star rating. One of the key factors that gave this airline this high rating is quality consistency in customer experience. The cabin crew is also professional and hardworking. Its bag-drop and check-in are highly automated, while baggage delivery is efficient. This airline has some of the most modern fleets, such as A380, Boeing 787, Boeing 747-8, and A220.


Lufthansa is the only 5-star rated airline in entire Europe. One of the facilitators of this rating award is continuous product improvement and development on both ground and on-board services. Some of the elements that set this airline apart from others are modern shower rooms, contemporary designed space, working, and relaxation rooms.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways links more than 150 destinations across America, Europe, Africa, Oceania, and Asia. Qatar airways deliver high standard product and service delivery to its customers and is a global airline leader. Some of the elements that greatly contributed to its 5-star rating award include cabin seating, food and beverage quality, cabin staff service, and IFE.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines has emerged as one of the best airlines when it comes to language skills, service hospitality, quality of meals, beverages and wines, comfort and cabin cleanliness, giving it a 5-star airline rating. The airline is committed to providing excellent services and has received several awards over the years. Singapore Airlines links to several destinations such as Melbourne, Sao Paulo, Hongkong, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Delhi, and Cape town.

Just like hotels, airlines also have ratings. Airlines with excellent product and service delivery and have maintained consistency have 5-star ratings. These ratings are usually reached by thoroughly evaluating and inspecting the customer experience an airline offers to its customers, and not customer reviews, to enhance accurate findings.