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Virgin Atlantic finished fifth in the world rankings. Virgin Atlantic

Air New Zealand has won top honours again in the annual airlineratings.com Airline of the Year award, followed closely by Qantas. Virgin Atlantic finished an impressive fifth, while British Airways did not make the list.

Airlineratings.com ranks carriers each year and awards an outright winner, which for the past five years has been awarded to Air New Zealand.

Other categories in the 2018 competition include best first class (Air Singapore), best economy class (Korean Air), best low fare carrier in Europe (Norwegian Air) and best in-flight entertainment (Emirates).

Virgin Atlantic finished first in the long haul Europe section (for a second year running).

Across 22 categories, British Airways failed to win a single award.

"We are looking for leadership and airlines that innovate to make a real difference to the passenger experience, particularly in economy class," the website reads.

"Whether number one or number 10, these airlines are the best of the best - the elite in aviation. They are the trendsetters and the benchmark by which all others are judged."

The top 10:

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

The site provides a seven star ranking for every airline based on product and safety. 9 of the top 10 finished with seven stars in both. Japan Airlines registers 6.5 stars for its product rating. British Airways scored seven for safety but fell one star short for product.

British Airways owner IAG might not be too worried about the snub. IBTimes UK reported in October that their profits soared by 22%. In the three months to the end of September, International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) saw pre-tax profits rise 22.5% year-on-year to €1.2bn (£1bn), while revenue climbed 2% from the corresponding period a year ago to €6.6bn.