Singapore Airlines ranked top global carrier, leading Asian firm in Fortune's Most Admired list

The Singapore carrier came in 32nd overall, up two spots from 34th last year. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines (SIA) has been ranked the top global airline by Fortune. It was also cited as the leading Asian firm in the magazine's list of the 50 Most Admired Companies in the world, which was announced on Wednesday (Feb 2).

The Singapore carrier came in 32nd overall, up two spots from 34th last year. This is the 20th time the company has made it to the annual list.

Tech giants Apple, Amazon and Microsoft held the top three spots while Pfizer came in fourth. It is Apple’s 15th straight year in No. 1 position. 

SIA ranked ahead of Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor, which came in at 34th place, the only other Asian company to have made the list. It also beat other global giants such as BMW, Bank of America, PepsiCo, IBM and Visa.

Global consulting firm Korn Ferry, which works with Fortune on the list, described the annual ranking as the "definitive report card on corporate reputations".

It was based on a survey of 3,740 executives, directors and analysts across a range of industries, who were asked to rank the companies they admired most in any industry.

Companies were evaluated on nine attributes, such as their ability to attract talents and the quality of their management and social responsibility.

SIA took the top global airline spot this year, climbing up from No. 2 last year. It came in ahead of Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM, which were second and third respectively in the airline scene. The ranking is based on responses from executives in the airline industry.

SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong said the global airline industry has faced unprecedented challenges over the last two years.

"This recognition by Fortune is an acknowledgement of SIA's unwavering focus on providing industry-leading products and world-class service to our customers, as well as the spirit of innovation that permeates all areas of our business despite the disruption caused by the pandemic," said Mr Goh, adding that the company will build on ongoing efforts to emerge stronger as a leading international airline.

"It is also a tribute to the resilience and dedication of our people."

The airline group has raised $21.6 billion in fresh liquidity since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020. A large part of this was used early in the pandemic for one-off expenses, including refunds to customers at the height of the global shutdown, repayment of bonds and repayment of a bridging loan.

SIA ended the first half of its financial year on Sept 30 last year with $13.5 billion left on its balance sheet. It reported a net loss of $837 million, an improvement of $2,630 million or 75.9 per cent from the previous year. This was largely due to better operating performance, said SIA.

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