SAA among the world’s Top 20 airlines

South African Airways makes it onto a list of the world’s best airlines in an annually compiled shortlist by Business Insider



SAA has taken the 11th spot on a shortlist of the world’s Top 20 airlines as compiled by the international publication Business Insider. Despite struggling to manage its finances, the state-owned South African flagship carrier has managed to make it on the coveted list for the second year in a row.

Looking at two key factors, namely punctuality and pleasant flight experience, the publication examined the performance of economy class long-haul flights of tens of global airlines, ranking them according to their respective quality quotients.

The data used for the shortlist was chiefly evaluated on the basis of reviews on Skytrax and compiled based on information on punctuality provided by

SAA’s performance is unique as the only airline on the Top 20 list that provides non-stop services from Johannesburg to London. Having recently added a free bag-wrapping service, SAA tries to stay ahead of the competition with added value and dedicated service being at the heart of its operations. However, cancelling its popular Cape Town – London route recently also means that some hitherto loyal SAA customers will have inadvertently changed their ticket purchasing habits.

The Business Insider’s Top 20 list was topped for the second year running by Singapore Airlines, followed by various other Asian and Middle Eastern carriers occupying the highest-ranking spots, such as All Nippon Airways, Qatar Airways, Asiana Airlines and Malaysia Airlines (just don’t mention flight MH370).

Among the more surprising airlines in the Top 20 list we found Air Astana, the little-known Kazakh national carrier, which uses Almaty as its hub to connect passengers throughout the world.

Perhaps it’s worthwhile looking into Borat’s flagship airline for your future travel arrangements? Just don’t forget to pack your mankini.

By Sertan Sanderson, 2014