Etihad ranks as world's most environmental carrier in Airline Excellence Awards

The airline was named as the world's third best, while Emirates picked up the award for best in-flight entertainment

Etihad Airways has been named the world’s most environmental airline in the Airline Excellence Awards. Photo: Etihad
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Etihad Airways has been named environmental airline of the year in the Airline Excellence Awards, and has been lauded for setting new standards for the global aviation industry.

“Etihad’s commitment to the cutting of emissions is a new benchmark for the airline industry. Its mantra is ‘a million things matter’ and the staff engagement is amazing,” says Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief of

Etihad Airways slashed its carbon emissions by 56 per cent between 2018 and 2021 as it successfully implemented programmes aimed at establishing a more sustainable business model. In May, it carried out the world’s most intensive sustainable flight-testing programme, completing 42 eco-flights over a five-day period.

The airline's Greenliner programme started in 2019 and Etihad and US industry majors Boeing and General Electric have operated several flights on the 787 Dreamliner jet focusing on plastic-free in-flight products, optimised airspace management, flight deck tools for more eco-friendly take-offs, noise reduction and the use of sustainable aviation fuel.

Etihad also ranked as the third best airline in the world in the annual Airline Excellence Awards, which are compiled by global editors with more than 100 years’ industry experience, who use 11 key criteria that include: fleet age, passenger reviews, profitability, environmental and safety credentials and product offerings. Emirates also ranked a one of the top 20 airlines for 2022 and was recognised for having the best in-flight entertainment.

Emirates was recognised for having the best in-flight entertainment in the annual ranking. Photo: Reuters

Qatar Airways topped the list of top 20 airlines 2022, with Air New Zealand coming in second. The Kiwi airline also picked up the award for best premium economy class and best economy class.

“Air New Zealand’s premium economy class is a standout for legroom and food service, while the airline’s Skycouch in economy class is the industry leader for space and value,” says Thomas.

In another win for regional airlines, Flydubai was named as one of the top ten low cost airlines for 2022. Korean Air was named cargo airline of the year, Singapore Airlines picked up best first class and best lounges, and Virgin Australia once again won best cabin crew.'s top 20 airlines of 2022:

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Air New Zealand
  3. Etihad Airways
  4. Korean Air
  5. Singapore Airlines
  6. Qantas
  7. Virgin Australia
  8. EVA Air
  9. Turkish Airlines
  10. All Nippon Airways
  11. Cathay Pacific
  12. Virgin Atlantic
  13. Japan Airlines
  14. jetBlue
  15. Finnair
  16. Emirates
  17. Hawaiian Airlines
  18. Air France/KLM
  19. Alaska Airlines
  20. British Airways
Updated: July 14, 2022, 9:36 AM