National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has fallen five places in the latest global ranking of airlines to position 90, trailing its regional rival Ethiopian Airlines that ranked among the top 50 carriers, a report shows.
Skytrax World Airline Awards had placed KQ in the 85th position in its previous report that ranks the world’s best airlines.
Ethiopian Airlines (position 44) and South African Airways (46) were the best African national carriers in the top 100 list despite both registering slight drops from last year’s ranking.
KQ’s fall comes even after it started direct flights from Nairobi to New York last October, cutting flight time from Kenya to the US by seven hours, down to 15 hours.
The national carrier started flying to Rome, Italy and Geneva, Switzerland this month in efforts to further widen its network across the world.
KQ posted a Sh7.55 billion loss in the year to December 2018 with Parliament pushing for the nationalisation of the debt-ridden airline.
Air Maroc of Morocco was separately named the best regional airline in the continent followed by Rwanda Air and Air Namibia.
In the low-cost category, local airlines Jambojet and Fly540 were in Africa’s top five behind the United Kingdom-owned Fastjet at number one and South Africa’s Mango Airlines at number two.
Overall, Qatar Airways was named the best airline in the world followed by Singapore Airlines. Japan’s All Nippon Airways came third.
Cathay Pacific Airways of Hong Kong was fourth followed by Emirates while Germany’s biggest carrier Lufthansa was sixth.