Passengers have voted Emirates the best global carrier in the Skytrax 2013 World Airline Awards with Qantas and its subsidiary Jetstar taking top honours in the Australia-Pacific region.
Emirates, which has four flights to New Zealand a day, also won the award for best inflight entertainment and, amid strong competition from other Gulf carriers, won the best Middle East airline.
The Skytrax awards are based on online surveys of 18 million business and leisure air travellers from more than 160 countries.
Emirates leaped from eighth place last year to take the top award which its president Tim Clark said was a testament to "our unrelenting effort to be the world's best airline".
Since launching in 1985, Emirates has grown into the largest long-haul carrier and last year more than 39 million passengers flew with the airline.
Qantas was awarded Best Airline Australia-Pacific and Jetstar Airways awarded best low cost airline Australia-Pacific. Qantas was also ranked one of the top 10 airlines globally and Jetstar Airways was voted the No2 low-cost carrier internationally.
Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said it had one of the youngest fleets of any legacy airline in the world.
"We have invested in more training, new lounges and better onboard products. We pride ourselves on safety and on being the most on-time airline in Australia," he said.
Air New Zealand, which slipped from 17th to 18th place overall, scooped the premium economy category for its Boeing 777-300 fleet, winning the overall award in that section plus the award for the best seat and best catering.
Air NZ general manager customer experience Calum Laming said the premium economy cabin had proved extremely popular with customers since it was first introduced in 2011.
Air NZ alliance partner Virgin Australia won best staff service for this region.
Among other airlines that fly here, Singapore was Asia's top carrier and came third overall and sixth was Cathay Pacific, which also has been awarded honours for the world's best cabin staff and best transpacific airline.
The awards were made after travellers completed an online survey questionnaire about their experience with airlines on the ground and onboard, during a 10-month period. The survey measures passenger satisfaction across more than 40 key performance indicators of airline front-line products and services - including check-in, boarding, onboard seat comfort, cabin cleanliness, food, beverages, inflight entertainment and staff service.
• 1 Emirates
•2 Qatar Airways
•3 Singapore Airlines
•4 ANA All Nippon Airways
•5 Asiana Airlines
•6 Cathay Pacific
•7 Etihad Airways
•8 Garuda Indonesia
•9 Turkish Airlines
• 10 Qantas