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'World's best airline' for 2021 revealed by Skytrax

(CNN) — It hasn't been a great year for airlines, thanks to Covid's impact on the aviation industry, but for one Middle East carrier it's just got a lot better.

Qatar Airways has taken the top spot in the latest ranking of the world's best airlines by Skytrax, a review body that also produces a hotly anticipated annual list of best airports.

The Doha-based airline latest accolade follows on the heels of its earlier win at this year's awards.

Skytrax World Airline Awards are voted for by travelers via a customer survey, which this time ran from September 2019 to July 2021.

Travelers were asked about the performance and quality of more than 350 global airlines.

Number two on Skytrax's list went to Singapore Airlines, while ANA All Nippon Airways came in at number three.

This is Qatar Airways sixth time winning the Skytrax top prize. This year it was also awarded World's Best Business Class, World's Best Business Class Seat, Best Airline in the Middle East, World's Best Business Class Airline Lounge and Best Business Class Onboard Catering.

"It is clear that Qatar Airways has maintained its high standards of innovation and service standards, both in more normal times and through the current global pandemic," said Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted in a statement on the results.

Rounding out Skytrax's top five are Emirates and Japan Airlines.

Flying during a pandemic

It's been a less than regular year for the aviation industry, with many carriers remaining grounded for much of the past 18 months. Skytrax swapped its usual in-person celebration for an online announcement this year.

Qatar Airways' planes have remained pretty active in the skies during the pandemic.

"We never abandoned our loyal customers when they needed us the most, we continued flying to get people home and implemented stringent biosafety measures to provide strong reassurance for travellers, all while continuing to innovate to ensure we remain the airline of choice for millions of passengers across the globe," said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker in a statement on the win.

Second place Singapore Airlines was also crowned Best Airline in Asia, and won for Best Cabin Crew, World's Best First Class, World's Best First Class Seat and Best Economy Class Onboard Catering. Third place ANA Al Nippon Airways was also recognized as home of the World's Cleanest Airline Cabins, World's Best Airport Services, Best Airline Staff in Asia and Best First Class Lounge in Asia.

Skytrax notes that "there have been some up and down movements versus 2019 results, although a core of airlines still dominate these higher positions."

Japan Airlines was absent from Skytrax's 2019 top 10, but this year came in at number five. Meanwhile Lufthansa and Thai Airways came in at number nine and 10 in 2019, but fell down the charts this year to 13 and 23 respectively.

Noteworthy firsts in this year's awards can be found in the low-cost market awards -- Singaporean budget carrier Scoot was named the World's Best Long Haul Low-Cost Airline, while Spanish carrier Vueling Airlines won Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe, beating off competition from the likes of EasyJet.

Skytrax crowned Air France the Best Airline in Europe, while the French national carrier was also the only European airline to break into the overall top 10. British Airways was number 11 on the overall list, and won Best Airline in the United Kingdom, as well as Best Airline Staff in Europe and Best Premium Economy Onboard Catering.

In the US market, Delta Air Lines was crowned Best Airline in North America and was recognized for Best Premium Economy Class Airline Seat, Best Business Class in North America and Best Premium Economy Class in North America. Delta was also the top rated US airline overall, at number 30 on the overall list.

Skytrax Top Airlines 2021

1. Qatar Airways

2. Singapore Airlines

3. ANA All Nippon Airways

4. Emirates

5. Japan Airlines

6. Cathay Pacific

7. EVA Air

8. Qantas Airways

9. Hainan Airlines

10. Air France

Skytrax World's Cleanest Airline Cabins 2021

1. ANA All Nippon Airways

2. Singapore Airlines

3. Japan Airlines

4. Qatar Airways

5. EVA Air

6. Cathay Pacific Airways

7. Asiana Airlines

8. Korean Air

9. Hainan Airlines

10. Swiss International Air Lines

Skytrax Best Airlines by Global Region 2021

Northern Europe -- Finnair

Western Europe -- Air France

Eastern Europe -- Aeroflot Russian Airlines

Africa -- Ethiopian Airlines

Australia / Pacific -- Qantas Airlines

Central Asia / India -- Air Astana

China -- Hainan Airlines

Central America / Caribbean -- Copa Airlines

South America -- LATAM

North America -- Delta Air Lines

Asia -- Singapore Airlines

Middle East -- Qatar Airways

Europe -- Air France

Skytrax World's Best Low-Cost Airlines 2021

1. AirAsia

2. Southwest Airlines

3. Scoot

4. Vueling Airlines

5. IndiGo

6. EasyJet

7. Jetstar Airways

8. Ryanair

9. Jetstar Asia

10. Flynas

Skytrax World's Best Cabin Crew 2021

1. Singapore Airlines

2. ANA All Nippon Airways

3. Thai Airways

4. Garuda Indonesia

5. Japan Airlines

6. Hainan Airlines

7. EVA Air

8. Asiana Airlines

9. Cathay Pacific Airways

10. Qatar Airways

Skytrax Best Airline Seats 2021

Economy -- Japan Airlines

Premium economy -- Delta Air Lines

Business -- Qatar Airways

First class -- Singapore Airlines

This article originally appeared on CNN

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