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Asian Airlines Rule Skytrax’s list of the World’s 10 Best Economy Class Airlines 2018!


A couple of months ago, Skytrax announced its rankings of the best economy class airlines 2018. The UK-based Skytrax group has compiled the list based on over 20 million customer-satisfaction surveys. With Thai Airways economy class topping the list, Singapore Airlines came in a close second.

The best economy class airlines 2018 list is significant chiefly because economy is the cheapest travel class everywhere in the world. Many frequent travelers book economy class to make most of their trips. It’s the one travel class that is perpetually sold out. Economy makes it possible for people to fly across the world within a couple of hours at a cheap rate. So if one airline is pushing the envelope with a smarter economy class travel experience, other airlines will soon follow suit.

Here’s a quick look at the list of the best economy class airlines 2018 before we ponder further on its implications.

The Best Economy Class Airlines 2018:

  1. Thai Airways
  2. Singapore Airlines
  3. Qatar Airways
  4. Emirates
  5. ANA All Nippon Airways
  6. Cathay Pacific Airways
  7. Garuda Indonesia
  8. EVA Air
  9. Lufthansa
  10. Japan Airlines

For detailed rankings of the best airlines 2018, check here.

What do the rankings signify?

In a nutshell, a massive growth spurt in economy class travel. Many were left surprised that 9 out of 10 of the airlines on the list were those based in Asia. Also surprising was the fact that there were no major US or Indian Airlines on the list of best economy class 2018. The sole European airline on the list was Lufthansa.

So what makes the Asian airlines different from their arguably more popular American and Indian counterparts?

“It’s possibly the individual efforts put in by the airlines to boost customer satisfaction. We book as many business class tickets with Qatar Airways as we do business class tickets with Emirates. They are undoubtedly among the best business class airlines in the world. However, these airlines are among the best long haul airlines economy travel-wise as well. Many of our regular customers book economy travel with these airlines. Our economy cheap flights with Lufthansa are popular as well. The airlines put in as much efforts to ensure customers have a comfortable flight experience in Economy Class as they do in First or Business Class. These are just some of the many things making these airlines among the best in the world,” states a travel agent associated with the US-based Indian Eagle travel agency.

That may well be true. It’s evident from the efforts made by the airlines named in the best economy class 2018 list. Emirates, for instance, is a prime example of this. Many travelers book with Emirates simply for the most comfortable airline seats economy class has to offer.

But comfortable seats aren’t the only thing setting Emirates economy class apart from the rest. The minute passengers board, they are greeted with amenity kits. They also have a myriad of options in the entertainment library. Also, depending on seat selection and the type of aircraft, they can enjoy a pitch of about 32 to 34 inches. This is a major factor contributing to a lot of travelers’ preference of Emirates for the best economy airline seats.

What can the unranked airlines do to improve their economy class?

For starters, they could take a cue from their Asian counterparts. Some of the listed airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Thai Airways may have changed places in the ranking order. However, they have managed to retain a place each on the best economy class airlines list which they occupied last year as well.

Unranked airlines on the list can follow suit by making minor but significant changes in their economy class. For instance, several of the unranked carriers charge a seemingly exorbitant amount if a passenger wishes to overpass the fearsome middle-seat on an economy class. They can start by doing away with (or at least reducing to an extent) such overcharges. Maybe then they’ll have a better chance of being included in the best economy class airlines list next year.

In the long run, investing in better entertainment, expanding food choices, and installing more comfy seats will also go a long way in helping them improve their economy class travel experience. If the airlines want people to keep booking economy travel with them, this is the least bit of comfort they can offer in exchange.

The bottom line on Economy Class travel:

The list of the world’s 10 best economy class airlines 2018 has brought to fore the importance of this humble air travel class. If you’re an avid economy class traveler, do a bit of extra research when you next book economy flights. Why? Because it will make a massive difference and determine whether you arrive at your destination aching and cramped up or comfortable and having enjoyed reasonable legroom. Do keep in mind these 10 best economy class airlines 2018 listed by Skytrax. Your next economy flight may well be with one of them!

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