THAI Smile tops online ranking
Travel booking site TripAdvisor surprised folks in the aviation industry, naming THAI Smile Airways as travellers' favourite regional carrier in Asia-Pacific and the best airline in Thailand.
The wholly owned sister airline of flag carrier Thai Airways International was honoured on the basis of the quantity and quality of airline reviews and ratings submitted by travellers worldwide over a 12-month period to February 2017.
The low-profile full-service THAI Smile is among 50 airlines worldwide named the winners of TripAdvisor's first annual Travellers' Choice awards.
According to TripAdvisor traveller reviews, THAI Smile is lauded for its "super-clean cabin", "friendly and attentive crew" and overall, a "great value-for-money" carrier to fly with, with an overall 4.5 out of 5 bubble rating score.
The hallmarks of the Travellers' Choice award winners are outstanding service, quality and value, TripAdvisor said.
Among the top 10 global list, Asia holds the highest number of individual winners, with five: Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Japan Airlines, THAI Smile and Garuda Indonesia.
The top regional and low-cost airlines in Asia-Pacific were, in order of ranking, THAI Smile, Bangkok Airways and IndiGo.
The top 10 airlines in the world were: Emirates; Singapore Airlines; Azul; JetBlue; Air New Zealand; Korean Air; Japan Airlines; THAI Smile; Alaska Airlines; Garuda Indonesia.
The top 10 major airlines in Asia-Pacific were: Singapore Airlines; Air New Zealand; Korean Air; Japan Airlines; Garuda Indonesia; All Nippon Airways; EVA Air; Asiana Airlines; Thai Airways; and Cathay Pacific.
"The airline industry is investing billions of dollars in new aircraft and service enhancements to differentiate the flying experience and these awards recognise carriers offering the very best experiences and value to travellers," said Bryan Saltzburg, general manager for TripAdvisor Flights.