Best Airlines in Southeast Asia

National Carriers of ASEAN Countries ~ ASEAN Section
South East Asian Airlines’ logos (Credit: Asian section.blogspot)

South East Asia, possibly the world’s most accommodating region for tourists of all kinds. It’s cheap and it’s attractive. Want a beach? Thailand and Indonesia. Want to try good food? Singapore and Thailand. Want a bit of history? Vietnam and Cambodia. The friendly people of this region really know what makes a decent flight. Read on, to find out the best airlines in South East Asia.

8. Royal Brunei Airlines

File:Royal Brunei Airlines Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner V8-DLC.jpg
A Royal Brunei 787 (Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Royal Brunei Airlines is a lesser known full service carrier. It has a relatively small fleet, making it slightly more inferior to other airlines, it’s also a no-go for those who want to drink on their flight as this airline does not serve any form of alcohol. The airline is certified by Skytrax as a 4 Star Airline for its service and overall product. Although it does rank rather far down in the 2019 Skytrax World Airline Awards ranking, scoring a place as 66th out of 100.

7. Vietnam Airlines

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A Vietnam Airlines Airbus (Credit: Saigoneer)

The national flag carrier of Vietnam is easily recognised, as of its unique livery and modern aircraft, boasting a fleet of A350s, 787s and more! Their seats are said to be slightly scratchy and a bit uncomfortable in economy but it gets better as you climb the classes. It has more than 100 aircrafts, and flies to the US, Australia , Asia and Europe. It wins place 56th in the world’s best airlines according to Skytrax as a 4 Star Airline. Vietnam Airlines serves a delicious meal, according to reviews and a great desert too!

6. Malaysia Airlines

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Malaysia Airlines A350 (Credit: Routes Online)

Unfortunately, to the non-avgeek community, Malaysia Airlines has earned a rather bad reputation as of it’s missing flight MH370. But the truth is, it’s not all that bad. Their aircrafts are relatively new and safe, and according to reviews, the seats are comfortable and cabin crew are friendly. It achieves a 4 Star Skytrax rating and is scored as the world’s 36th best airline. They fly to over 370 worldwide destinations, using Kuala Lumpur as the main hub. Not bad right?

5. Philippine Airlines

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A Philippine Airlines 777 (Credit: Airways Magazine)

This one is a little controversial, but Philippine Airlines is the 5th best airline in South East Asia. It is very well known for its kind and friendly staff and great service. Complimentary food, snacks and drinks are provided on any flight that exceeds 45 minutes, which is also a tradition among South East Asian Airlines. Philippine Airlines flies to the US, Europe, Australia and of course, Oriental Asia. According to Skytrax, Philippine Airlines is ranked 30th best airline in the world, with a 4 star Skytrax rating. One downside was that they were actually banned from flying into EU airspace for a few years due to safety concerns, but most likely, that problem is fixed. Overall a decent airline.

4. Bangkok Airways

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Bangkok Airways A319 taxiing with nice scenery behind it (Credit: Travel Daily)

Bangkok Airways is really a gold winner here. Thailand is known as the ‘Land of Smiles’, and Bangkok Airways shows that with its smiley crew who provide great service. They have a fleet size of 37 aircrafts, ranging from small ATR turboprops to A320s. On every flight, a complimentary free full course meal is provided along with free access to a lounge, yes even if you fly economy. They are also known for their colourful, bright aircraft liveries. Bangkok Airways does not classify as a budget or low cost airline, but a regional one. Bangkok Airways has won countless Skytrax awards, Best Regional Carrier for 5 whole consecutive years, gives them the 17th place in the world’s best airlines. Bangkok Airways, flies to over 30 destinations in Asia, including the Maldives.

3. Garuda Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-941 cn 1947 F-WWKV // PK-GHE | Flickr
Garuda Indonesia A330-900NEO (Credit: Flickr)

Garuda Indonesia is the national flag carrier of Indonesia. It is ranked 12th in the Skytrax rankings and has had a bit of a rough past, showing many safety concerns. Their crews are friendly, they use modern aircraft and they provide an excellent flight. Comfortable seats from economy all the way to first class with the sliding doors. Garuda Indonesia is a 5 star airline according to Skytrax, although many believe that it should be rated 4 stars instead. Garuda does not serve alcohol on domestic routes in Indonesia, but it makes up for it with the delectable food. Again, a more than satisfactory airline.

2. Thai Airways International

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A Thai Airways A350-900 (Credit: Business Traveller)

Thai Airways is the flag carrier of the Kingdom of Thailand. It flies to more than 90 destinations and is famous for its great food, legendary service, efficient service and happy-to-help crew members. It wins a 10 ranking from Skytrax’s best airlines in the world, scoring as a 4 Star airline. From 2014-2019 it won ‘World’s best economy class’ for 5 consecutive years from Skytrax. It is known for it’s pink and purple cabin and their stunning cabin crew uniforms

. To let itself climb even higher, it is going through a fleet modernisation process, ridding itself of older aircrafts . It’s a shame that they have been in a desperate financial situation for a while though. Thai serves great food on their flights, the seats are ever so comfortable and the entertainment system on board is rather decent! Overall another excellent airline!

1.Singapore Airlines

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Singapore Airlines A380 (Credit: Bangkok Post)

Singapore Airlines, national carrier of Singapore wins 1st place. It’s the world’s 2nd best airline according to Skytrax, a few mere paces away from being 1st on that list. It’s a 5 Star airline from Skytrax too! From economy to First class with a private room, it makes for an extremely comfortable flight. Singapore Airlines also owns the less loved airline, FlyScoot. They have a fleet of modern aircraft that fly to over 130 destinations worldwide. Singapore airline is the only South East Asian airline to fly to South America, Brazil, expanding over to 6 continents. Singapore Airlines is another spectacular airline to fly.


Skytrax Website 2019 rankings, Business Insider,, flyscoot website, Bangkok post

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