Consumer aviation website Skytrax has released updated rankings of the best airlines in the world.
Middle Eastern and Asian airlines such as Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Emirates once again dominate the list’s top ten.
Unfortunately, African airlines have had difficulty keeping up with the competition. In fact, no African airline made it into the top 30 with the highest-ranking African airline.
Nonetheless, African Airlines continues to provide high-quality services to passengers.
According to Skytrax (United Kingdom-based consultancy) which runs an airline and airport review and ranking site., the following are the top 10 African airlines for 2021:
- Ethiopian Airlines
Ethiopian Airlines is the country’s national airline based in Addis Ababa. Ethiopian Airlines, one of Africa’s leading airlines, serves more than 60 international destinations in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America as well as operating an extensive domestic and international cargo network.
- South African Airways
The carrier is wholly owned by the South African government and operates an extensive network of domestic services and International services to North America, South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. The carrier joined Star Alliance in April 2006, making it the first African carrier to sign with one of the three airline alliances.
- Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways Ltd., or Kenya Airways, is the country’s flag carrier airline. Following the demise of East African Airways, the company was founded in 1977. Their headquarters are in Embakasi, Nairobi, and their main hub is at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. In addition, the airline is one of the largest in Africa.
Boasting a crew of friendly and helpful staff, it’s no wonder Kenya Airways holds the 2016 and 2017 World Travel Awards for Africa’s Leading Airline! Also, known as ‘Africa’s Pride’, the airline has contributed significantly to raising the standards of African aviation through their continued service excellence.
- Royal Air Maroc
It is a Moroccan national carrier, as well as the country’s largest airline. RAM is fully owned by the government of Morocco and has its headquarters on the grounds of Casablanca-Anfa Airport. From its base at Mohammed V International Airport, the carrier operates a domestic network in Morocco, scheduled international flights to Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America, and occasional charter flights that include Hajj services.
RAM operates both medium-haul and long-haul flights and flies to over 100 destinations worldwide, including countries in Europe, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East.
- Air Mauritius
Air Mauritius is the country’s national airline, based at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Port Louis, Mauritius. The flag carrier, Air Mauritius Ltd, began operations in 1972 and is the fourth-largest carrier in Sub-Saharan Africa. Passengers can fly direct to 23 destinations and connect to over 100 more through the airline’s partners.
- Air Seychelles
Air Seychelles is Seychelles’ national airline, with headquarters on the island of Mahe. The airline serves several destinations in Africa and Central/Eastern Asia.
Air Seychelles was founded in 1978 and initially operated only domestic flights until 1983 when it began operating international flights to Frankfurt and London. Over time, the airline expanded and adapted its International route network, and it now flies to several countries other than Seychelles.
In 2014, Air Seychelles received a prestigious four-star rating from Skytrax, as well as accolades for the Leading Business Class and Leading Cabin Crew in the Indian Ocean from the World Travel Awards.
Rwanda’s national airline currently serves over 30 destinations in Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa, and the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. With Kigali International Airport (KGL) as its hub, the airline is one of the fastest-growing airlines and has one of the youngest, state-of-the-art fleets in all of Africa.
The airline’s mission is to provide unrivaled, safe, and dependable air transportation services, including strategically connecting Rwanda with the rest of the world.
FlySafair is a South African low-cost airline based in Johannesburg. It is Safair’s wholly-owned subsidiary. The airline was founded in August 2013 and received permission from the South African Air Service Licensing Council to begin operations with ten daily flights between Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport.
FlySafair flies to 7 domestic destinations within South Africa, including Cape Town, Durban, East London, George, Port Elizabeth, and Johannesburg. It flies to these destinations using its fleet of 16 Boeing aircraft.
The airline is headquartered at Cairo International Airport, its main hub, operating scheduled passenger and freight services to more than 75 destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Egyptair is a member of Star Alliance and the Arab Air Carriers Organization.
EgyptAir is among the largest carriers on the African continent and became a member of the Star Alliance in Jul-2008. EgyptAir Cargo is the airline dedicated cargo division serving Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Fastjet Plc is a British/South African-based holding company for a group of African low-cost carriers. The company’s stated aim is to become the continent’s first low-cost, pan-African airline, and the operation was initially created with the acquisition of Fly540, an airline operating in East Africa; flights in Fastjet’s name commenced in November 2012 in Tanzania.
Fastjet Zimbabwe began operations in October 2015, followed by Fastjet Mozambique in November 2017. Domestic operations in South Africa have also been announced. As of February 2018, the airline operated four Embraer E145 planes in East and Southern Africa. It has carried over 2.5 million passengers with an overall on-time performance of 90%.
Skytrax compiled this list based on customer surveys collected for 23 months, from September 2019 to July 2021, and comprises a mix of more normal travel times and pandemic travel. While the pandemic caused some shifting of airline positions compared to 2019, a handful of core airlines still maintained the higher rankings.
Over 13 million travelers worldwide nominated their favorite airline in a survey and ranked specific aspects of the customer experience on a scale of one to five, including cabin service, COVID-19 response, ground/airport services, and the onboard product. Over 350 airlines were included in the survey results.