Get ready for take off in the cleanest aircraft cabins in the world

The economy class cabin inside the Singapore Airlines A350.
The Straits Times

When embarking on a seven-hour journey in the air, we all want to feel comfortable, relaxed and definitely, clean.

For germaphobes who look at plane seats and think of the hundreds of bodies and dirty travel clothes that were pressed into those cushioned seats, sit up and pay attention.

Leading aviation consumer website Skytrax announced the top 10 airlines with the cleanest cabins on July 12 as part of the 2016 World Airline Awards.

The results were obtained by surveying more than 19.2 million customers from over 280 airlines. Cleanliness of cabin washrooms, seats, tray tables, window seat walls, pillows and blankets, and in-flight entertainment devices were all considered in the final ranking.

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Cleanliness and hygiene have become increasingly important considerations in a traveller's choice of airline, and Asian airlines have made them their top priorities and dominated the list of cleanest cabins in recent years.

This year, Cathay Pacific clinched the top spot in the Cleanest Aircraft Cabin category for the first time while EVA Air slipped to second place. ANA All Nippon Airways maintained its third placing.

In a surprising turn, Singapore Airlines (SIA) dropped five spots from last year's second placing in the category, falling behind China's Hainan Air and Korean Air which are ranked 5th and 6th respectively in the list.

The top 10 airlines with the cleanest aircraft cabins are:

1. Cathay Pacific

2. EVA Air

3. ANA All Nippon Airways

4. Japan Airlines

5. Hainan Airlines

6. Korean Air

7. Singapore Airlines

8. Asiana Airlines

9. Garuda Indonesia

10. Qatar Airways

However, SIA was among the top three for other categories - Best In-Flight Entertainment, Best Cabin Staff, Best Economy and Business Class Travel - and attained an overall third placing in World's Top 10 Airlines 2016. It dropped a notch from last year's second placing, trailing behind Emirates and Qatar Airways respectively.

rissaho@sph.com.sg