Today we will look at a survey published by California-headquartered accounting software financial technology business Tipalti on the world's best airlines for business travel. Tipalti asked questions like which airlines have the best lounges for business travelers, which airline's business class seats are the most comfortable, the best onboard inflight entertainment, and who has the fastest WiFi.
As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses send their employees on trips to meet up face-to-face with customers. Even in a world where video conferencing and working remotely have taken hold, interacting with customers individually is still the best way to meet and get to know each other.
Sometimes, you may need to take samples of your company's products to potential buyers and explain why they should buy them and what services you can provide. Sometimes, you may have specialist knowledge and possess unique skills. An example of that would be a Lockheed Martin engineer being sent overseas to work on sensitive F-35 software.
Now we have discussed why business travel is essential, let's look at Tipalti's survey and see which airlines scored the best.
1 Oman Air
With an overall score of 8.39 out of 10, Gulf State carrier Oman Air finished first. The Muscat International Airport (MCT)-based carrier offers its customers Collins Aerospace APEX Suite business class seats with privacy screens and direct aisle access.
Oman Air received a 4 out of 5 for its inflight catering, lounges, and entertainment. Primarily serving the Middle East, Oman Air also offers flights to Asia, Africa, and Europe.
The airline's seats have long been praised for their generous space offering, especially when reclined to a lie-flat position. It's the perfect way to get a night's sleep in while in the air.
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2 Cathay Pacific Airways
Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) based Cathay Pacific came second in the survey scoring 8.28. Cathay Pacific offers Safran Cirrus seats and 19-inch touchscreen monitors for business class passengers. Cathay Pacific also scored high marks for its lounge dining options, with passengers particularly liking the Teahouse in the Pier Business lounge and Noodle Bar in the Wing Business lounge.
Cathay has been teasing a brand new business class for its Boeing 777-300ER fleet. The Aria Suite features privacy doors, plenty of storage, and a movable armrest. Wireless charging is also rumored to feature! The flag carrier of Hong Kong could push its rating even higher once this is introduced.
3 EVA Air
In third place is Taiwan's second-largest airline after China Airlines Eva Air scored 7.93. Based at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), Eva Air offers its passengers BMW Designworks business class seats that passengers gave top marks for comfort.
EVA is lauded across the globe for its high levels of customer service, particularly in business class. There is plenty of comfort to be had in these cabins. Taking the 787 as an example, passengers can choose from 26 76-inch lie-flat beds with 23 inches of width.
The comfort is not lost on the A330 either. As EVA states:
"The Premium Laurel Class cabin, with its 2-2-2 seating arrangement, is breathtakingly huge. State-of-the-art hard-shell seats recline to an almost flat position without cramping passengers in front or behind. A generous 61–62-inch seat pitch is made even more comfortable with fully adjustable headrests and footrests, electrically controlled lumbar support and seatbacks and added ergonomic features. Passengers feel as though they never left the comfort of their own homes."
4 Qatar Airways
While Singapore Airlines may have been voted the best overall airline in the world at the 2023 Skytrax World Airline Awards, Qatar Airways came fourth in the Tipalti survey with a score of 7.7. Based at Doha International Airport (DOH) in Doha, Qatar Airways offers its business class passengers Collins Aerospace and PriestmanGoode-designed Qsuite seats.
One of the world's most popular business class seats, Qatar Airways Qsuites are often called first class seats for a business class price.
Simple Flying has hopped in Qatar Airways' Qsuites a few times over the last few years and can vouch for the luxury to be had. The sliding doors give the passenger full privacy to either sit back and enjoy the backed by its "Super Wi-Fi" or to have a few hours kip on long-haul routes. The operator's lounges are also a treat both in Doha and abroad, offering premium food and beverage options and room to keep busy at the airport.
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India's Vistara came fifth in the Tipalti survey with a score of 7.47. Founded as a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, Vistara is a full-service Indian airline based at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in Delhi.
Vistara offers its business class passengers Stelia Aerospace Symphony seats. The carrier finished second for inflight entertainment after Eva Air But failed to make it into the top five regarding the quality of its lounges.
Simple Flying reviewed the 787-9 business class to Paris in April. Despite being a newcomer to Europe, the airline provides a strong offering that won't break the bank as much as some of its competitors.