Air New Zealand is the world’s best airline for 2020, according to a new ranking.

The AirlineRatings.com Airline Excellence Awards judge airlines based on major safety and government audits alongside 12 key criteria, including fleet age, passenger reviews, profitability, investment rating, product offerings, and staff relations, The Independent reported.

The Kiwi flag carrier knocked Singapore Airlines, last year’s winner, off the top spot due to inflight innovations, environmental leadership and staff motivation.

It’s the sixth time Air New Zealand has won the title.

Although it lost the crown, Singapore Airlines came in second after introducing its new A350 and 787-10 over the last two years, along with revamped A380s.

Rounding out the top five were Qantas, praised for its financial performance, lounge and domestic services, and Cathay Pacific.

As well as naming the world’s top 20 airlines, AirlineRatings.com also gives out separate awards across 13 categories.

The Best Catering and Best Business Class awards went to Qatar Airways thanks to its Qsuites.

Australia’s Qantas won two awards: Best Domestic Airline Service and Best Lounges.

Virgin Australia won Best Economy for an “extremely spacious cabin that sets it apart from many airlines”, plus Best Cabin Crew.

Best Inflight Entertainment was awarded to Emirates, while the Most Improved Airline award went to Cebu Pacific.

VietJet took the Best Ultra Low-Cost airline award for the third year running.

Air New Zealand picked up the Best Premium Economy award alongside its overall title.

Singapore Airlines took the Best First Class award for its Suites product, found at the front of the upper deck on the airline’s flagship Airbus A380s and designed to feel like small hotel rooms.

The 10 best airlines for 2020:

1. Air New Zealand
2. Singapore Airlines
3. All Nippon Airways
4. Qantas
5. Cathay Pacific
6. Emirates
7. Virgin Atlantic
8. EVA Air
9. Qatar Airways
10. Virgin Australia

The AirlineRatings.com Airline Excellence Awards judge airlines based on major safety and government audits alongside 12 key criteria, including fleet age, passenger reviews, profitability, investment rating, product offerings, and staff relations. Credit: Handout.