UK airline Jet2.com has been named among the best in the world as part of the 2017 Telegraph Travel Awards.
The Leeds-based operator ranked fourth in the short-haul category of the survey, moving up two places from last year, narrowly losing out to eventual winner Swiss. Switzerland’s flag carrier edged out Icelandair while Channel Island carrier Aurigny Air and KLM accounting for third and fifth, respectively. The likes of Austrian Airlines, Aer Lingus, Air Malta and CityJet all entered the top 10 for the first time.
Results from the short-haul category provided a sobering moment for British Airways which slipped from first in 2016 to a lowly 13th this year. Swiss has been trailing in second place to BA for the past five years but managed to climb the mountain and claim the top prize.
Almost 90,000 Telegraph readers put forward their opinions for the survey and Nick Trend, Telegraph Travel’s consumer expert, explained that while no-frills airlines are continually expanding they are “yet to win over readers’ hearts”. However, the performance of Jet2.com does provide some solace for budget carriers in the future.
Commenting on Swiss’ triumph, Mr Trend added: “Like most airlines on short-haul routes, it has trimmed away at costs and the extras it offers to passengers – its economy ‘light’ fare now includes only hand luggage.
“But even on short-haul flights, you do get a free aperitif, snack or meal (depending on the length of the flight and time of day). No doubt too, readers’ experience is enhanced by the civilised atmosphere of Switzerland’s airports – Zurich is a particularly good example.”
When it came to the long-haul category, Singapore Airlines beat Emirates to claim a title it had not won since 2014. Qatar Airways rose three places from 2016 to third while Air New Zealand and Virgin Atlantic made up the top five. There was a first appearance from the Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific while Etihad and Korean Airways all featured in the top ten.
Explaining the dominance of Singapore Airlines, Mr Trend said: “It does this with excellent training, world-leading standard of service in the cabin, and a long history of investing heavily in technology – it has a young fleet, and many of its longer flights are on the new A380 planes – the double-decker super-jumbos which are so much more comfortable to fly in that the old Boeing 747s.”