Air NZ Rated 5th-Best Long Haul Carrier In Magazine Poll
WELLINGTON (Dow Jones)--Readers of Conde Nast Traveller magazine have voted Air New Zealand Ltd. (A.AIZ) the fifth-best long-haul leisure airline in an annual poll, the financially ailing carrier said Friday.
Readers of the U.K.-based magazine rated airlines on the several criteria including customer service, in-flight food and entertainment, and seat comfort.
Air New Zealand had an 86.52% overall customer satisfaction rating, compared with 92.5% for top-ranked Virgin Atlantic, and 84.56% for sixth placed Qantas Airways (A.QAN).
Air New Zealand's 25% shareholder Singapore Airlines (Singapore: SIAL.SI - news) (P.SAL) was ranked second with a satisfaction rating of 91.02%.
"It is remarkable Air New Zealand was so highly placed given the limited number of flights out of the U.K. compared to its rivals," said Roger Poulton, the airline's regional manager for the U.K. and Europe.
The government and Air New Zealand's major shareholders are currently carrying out due diligence on the carrier as a condition of an NZ$850 rescue refinancing package.
Air New Zealand last week reported a record NZ$1.425 billion full year net loss after writing down to zero its NZ$1.3 billion investment in Australian airline Ansett.
The Australian carrier subsequently collapsed, jettisoning 16,000 employees, and sparking claims Air New Zealand is liable for up to NZ$600 million of employee entitlements.
Overall customer satisfaction ratings for the top-10 ranked airlines in the long haul leisure category are as follows:
1. Virgin Atlantic 92.50%
2. Singapore Airlines 91.02%
3. Emirates Airlines 88.37%
4. British Airways 86.97%
5. Air New Zealand 86.52%
6. Qantas Airways 84.56%
7. Thai Airways Intl 84.15%
8. Cathay Pacific 83.25%
9. United Airlines 82.75%
10. =Malaysian Airlines 82.52%
10. =American Airlines 82.52%
-By Stephen Wright, Dow Jones Newswires; 64-4-471-5990; firstname.lastname@example.org