Airlines and airports have had an unusual couple of years. After months of groundings due to pandemic-related reasons, travel has returned not with a bang, but with a whimper as many struggle with flight cancellations and delays.

AirlineRatings.com, a safety and product rating agency based in Australia, released its annual list of the best airlines in the world during this chaotic travel season.

In second place for the second year in a row is Qatar Airways. Apparently the main reason this airline took first place was because it had consistently flown over the past couple of years. Qatar Airways also won the Excellence in Long Haul – Middle East/Africa award.

As a result of Qatar Airways’ decision to remain operational throughout the pandemic, it became the largest international airline in the world and racked up a huge profit, Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief of AirlineRatings.com.

With profitability just one criterion in their evaluation, the website also rated airline safety, the size of their fleet, how eco-friendly they are, passenger reviews, and their product offerings.

Second only to Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand is an airline that’s previously come in at number one six times and number two last year. For 2022, Air New Zealand was also voted best for long-haul flights in the Pacific region, and as having the best economy and premium economy options.

AirlineRatings.com ranked Etihad Airways third on its list. Furthermore, the airline earned the accolade for Environmental Airline of the Year, due to its “benchmark” commitment to cutting emissions.

Fourth is Korean Air, which also won the Cargo Airline of the Year and Excellence in Long Haul – Asia awards, and Singapore Airlines, winner of Best First Class and Best Lounges, rounds out the top five.

This article highlights the budget airlines for 2022 that are ranked; the lower-priced airlines, though, are not ranked, but are simply listed alphabetically. Here are some major carriers to fly in other parts of the world: Allegiant Air, AirAsia, easyjet, Jetstar, Flair, Fly Dubai, Ryanair, Scoot, Southwest and VietJet Air.

According to Thomas, the results reflect the continuing impact of Covid-19 on aviation, although the recent spike in delays and cancellations had little effect on the rankings, the current crisis in air travel is different from events such as the one earlier this year at LAX because these things are largely not the airlines’ making.

Authorities believe these current problems are related to an insufficient staff, problems with airports, disputes with the workforce, and adverse weather conditions.Overall, Thomas sees the rankings as a positive take on the travel industry today.

“The results highlight the very high standard of offering for travelers,” he said.