Business Travel Index
We’ve looked at which airlines offer the best business class service, from lounge facilities and seat comfort, to inflight entertainment.
We’ve taken a look at which airlines offer the best business class service, from lounge facilities and seat comfort, to inflight entertainment. We’ve also looked at which cities are the best to work from, based on factors such as wifi speed and public transport.
By analyzing these factors, we’ve created the ultimate Business Travel Index, helping you choose your options wisely when traveling for business purposes.
Oman Air is the Best Airline for those Traveling Business-Class
1. Oman Air – 8.39 overall score
Topping the list of best business-class airlines is Oman Air, with an overall score of 8.39. The airline is based at Muscat International Airport and travels to over 50 destinations, including the likes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt.
Oman Air scores 5/5 across the board when it comes to its aircraft’s business-class seats, making it the highest-scoring airline in this category. It also receives 4/5 in areas such as staff service (both inflight and in the lounge), inflight entertainment, and lounge catering.
2. Cathay Pacific Airways – 8.28 overall score
Following closely behind is Cathay Pacific Airways, which receives an overall score of 8.28. It is the largest airline in Hong Kong, with its head office located at Hong Kong International Airport. The airline provides flights to over 60 destinations, such as Seoul, Dubai, and Johannesburg.
Cathay Pacific Airways scores 4/5 for the comfort of its seats (both sitting and sleeping), as well as for their width and length, meaning those traveling long haul can rest comfortably. The airline also scores highly for its catering options in lounges, which include The Teahouse in the Pier Business lounge and Noodle Bar in the Wing Business lounge, both located at Hong Kong International Airport.
3. EVA Air – 7.93 overall score
In third place is EVA Air, with an overall score of 7.93. It is one of the two largest airlines in Taiwan and has hubs in both Taoyuan International Airport and Kaohsiung International Airport. The airline flies to 30 different countries, including Thailand, Japan, and China.
EVA Air scores no less than 4/5 across all three categories, receiving 4 for both its lounges and inflight services and 4.6 for its seats. The airline scores 5/5 for the sitting comfort, width, and length of its seats, meaning that anyone choosing to travel with EVA Air is guaranteed to have a comfortable and relaxing experience when traveling long distances.
Oman Air, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines are Amongst the Best Business-Class Lounges
Multiple Airlines – average lounge score of 4/5
There are eight airlines all tying in first place for the best business-class lounge: Oman Air, Cathay Pacific Airways, EVA Air, Qatar Airways, Asiana Airlines, Kenya Airways, Gulf Air, and Turkish Airlines. All eight of these airlines scored 4/5 for their business-class lounges.
Only two airlines scored 5/5 for any part of their business-class lounges: Asiana Airlines for their wifi and Kenya Airways for their washrooms/showers. Before flying with Asiana Airlines to destinations such as Delhi, Tokyo, and Manila, guests can work in the study area of the lounge or relax on one of the full-body massage chairs. For those flying to one of Kenya Airways’ 53 destinations from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you can relax in one of the two African landscape-themed business-class lounges.
Oman Air Offers the Most Comfortable Business-Class Seats
1. Oman Air – average seat score of 5/5
Soaring to the top spot is Oman Air, which received 5/5 across the board for the comfort of its business-class seats. The airline offers an innovative layout in its business class, including direct aisle access, adjustable privacy dividers, and a bed that doesn’t compromise on legroom.
Users of Oman Air have praised the airline for its “very generous (if not lavish)” seats, which they consider to be comfortable and well-maintained. They have also been commended for the width of their business-class seats, which makes it easy for guests to sleep comfortably.
2. Cathay Pacific Airways and Kenya Airways – average seat score of 4.8/5
Following closely behind are Cathay Pacific Airways and Kenya Airways, both receiving an average score of 4.8/5. Cathay Pacific Airways have won awards for their business-class seats, which provide their guests with privacy partitions, one-click sitting and sleep settings, a fully flat bed, and 400-thread-count Bamford bedlinen (on long haul flights only). The extra-wide cabins of their A350 aircraft also feature intelligent lighting and reduced noise, which allows guests to sleep better.
Kenya Airways have been praised for the level of comfort that their seats provide when sleeping. One guest who posted a review on Skytrax said, “The seats seemed wider and longer than the pods as my feet did not touch the end wall, and I did not feel cramped while sleeping on my side.” They also feature power outlets, a reading light, and a moveable dividing screen for privacy.
TEVA Air, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines are Amongst Those Offering the Best Inflight Business-Class Service
1. EVA Air, Vistara, Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, and Singapore Airlines – average inflight score of 4/5
The airlines offering the best business-class inflight experience, with an average score of 4/5, are EVA Air, Vistara, Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, and Singapore Airlines. Those flying with Japan Airlines from both Tokyo airports can enjoy food prepared by top chefs, including Mishina Jun, the Japanese restaurant Ren Mishina, and Namae Shinobu, the French restaurant L’Effervescence.
As well as providing guests with a range of delicious appetizers, main meals, and desserts, Qatar Airways also offers afternoon tea, complete with traditional finger sandwiches, warm scones, and delicate pastries. A cheese board is also available, consisting of a range of cheeses, grapes, dried fruits, and chutneys.
Those flying business class with Vistara start their journey with a refreshing welcome drink before enjoying a delicious 3-course meal of both Indian and International cuisine, served on fine bone china. Passengers can also enjoy a warm cup of Starbucks coffee or choose from a range of soothing teas.
New York is the Best City for Those Traveling for Business Purposes
1. New York, United States – 8.77 overall score
Topping the list of business-travel hotspots is the city that never sleeps, New York, which has an overall score of 8.77. The city is a global center for finance, technology, entertainment, and media and is also the home of the United Nations headquarters. As of 2021, the metropolitan area of New York had a gross metropolitan product of over $2.4 trillion, making it the largest metropolitan economy in the world.
New York ranks second for competitiveness, with a score of 67.22. In addition, it also ranks third for the fastest average fixed broadband speed and the number of universities in the top 100, the latter of which it ties with Berlin.
2. Singapore, Singapore – 8.58 overall score
In second place is the city-state of Singapore, with an overall score of 8.58. Singapore attracts a large amount of foreign investment, benefitting from a prime trading location, a highly skilled workforce, low tax rates, advanced infrastructure, and zero tolerance against corruption. In 2019, the city-state was named the world’s most competitive economy, according to the ranking of 141 countries by the World Economic Forum.
Singapore ranks fourth for urban mobility readiness and fifth for competitiveness, achieving a score of 60.53. In addition, the city-state also has two universities that feature in the top 100 ranking by Times Higher Education.
3. Shanghai, China – 7.69 overall score
Coming in third is Shanghai, achieving an overall score of 7.69. The city is a global financial, business, and economic hub, and the Port of Shanghai is the busiest container port in the world. In 2018, it was estimated that the Greater Shanghai metropolitan area produced a gross metropolitan product of almost $1.33 trillion.
Shanghai has the fastest average mobile internet speed of all the analyzed cities, standing at 158.63 Mbps. The city also ranks second for the fastest average fixed broadband speed, sixth for the number of universities in the top 100, and seventh for competitiveness score, which relates to business activity, human capital, cultural experience, and political engagement.
Fastest Average Internet Speeds
When traveling for business purposes, it’s essential that you can access the Internet and complete your work wherever you are. Therefore, it’s helpful to know which cities in the world will provide you with the best internet access. One of the cities topping the list is Shanghai, which has an average mobile internet speed of 158.63 Mbps. Some of the biggest internet providers in Shanghai and across China include China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom.
Following closely behind is the city of Copenhagen, with an average mobile internet speed of 157.54 Mbps. The city, which is the capital of Denmark, has a range of internet providers, with some of the most popular being Yousee, Hiper, and Telia. However, it seems as though China is the place to be for those needing fast internet, as Beijing places third, with an average mobile internet speed of 145.76 Mbps.
In terms of average fixed broadband speed, Beijing and Shanghai top the list yet again, with average speeds of 238.86 Mbps and 221.85 Mbps, respectively. Placing third is the city of New York, which has an average fixed broadband speed of 218.04 Mbps. Recommended by HighSpeedInternet.com, the top five internet providers within New York are Spectrum, Astound Broadband, T-Mobile Home Internet, Optimum, and Verizon Home Internet.
Hong Kong is the City with the Most Universities in the Top 100
1. Hong Kong, China – 5 Universities in the Top 100
The city with the most educational establishments in the top 100 in Hong Kong. The city has five universities: the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the City University of Hong Kong.
The University of Hong Kong is the oldest post-secondary educational institution in the city and was built in 1911. It is currently ranked 4th in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings and 31st in the World University Rankings. The university has over 5,000 international students from over 90 countries and regions, making up 43% of its student body. There are ten academic faculties at the University of Hong Kong, including Architecture, Dentistry, and Medicine.
2. London, United Kingdom – 4 universities in the Top 100
The second-best game for streaming in 2023 is League of Legends, which received an overall score of 9.65 out of 10. Developed by Riot Games and released as far back as 2009, League of Legends has become a behemoth of the gaming world, with a dominant place in streaming as well as in competitive e-sports tournaments.
Part of League of Legends’ popularity can be attributed to accessibility, with the game being free-to-play and the only purchasable items being purely cosmetic, offering no in-game advantage. League of Legends has 36 million followers on Twitch and has an average of approximately 156,000 viewers in 2023, with a peak of just over 914,000.
3. New York, United States, and Berlin, Germany – 3 universities in the Top 100
Tying in third place are the cities of New York and Berlin, both of which have three universities in the top 100 in the World University Rankings: Cornell University, New York University, Columbia University in New York, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, and the Free University of Berlin.
Columbia University, which was founded in 1754, is the oldest in the state of New York and one of the oldest throughout the whole of the United States. Some famous alumni include former US Presidents Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt and Barack Obama, as well as actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The Humboldt University of Berlin was established over 200 years ago in 1810 and has a world-class reputation in the arts and humanities fields. In addition to Albert Einstein spending time at the university as a professor for some time, some famous alumni include Marxism founders Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, novelist Alfred Döblin, and composer Felix Mendelssohn.
London is the Most Business-Competitive City.
When traveling for business, knowing which cities are the most competitive in business activity, human capital, cultural experience, and political engagement can be handy. The city of London is topping the list with a competitiveness score of 72.15. The city is thought to generate around 20% of the UK’s GDP and is one of the most important financial centers in the world. Over 100 of Europe’s 500 largest companies have headquarters in central London, including Aviva, ITV, and Phoenix Group.
New York is in second place, with a competitiveness score of 67.22. Some of the biggest companies based in the city include American Express, Etsy, and Pfizer. Coming in third is the city of Tokyo, which receives a competitiveness score of 65.15. Mitsubishi, Honda, Sony, SoftBank Group, and Toshiba are some of the largest companies in Tokyo.
San Francisco is the Most Urban Mobility-Ready City
One of the most important things to consider when traveling for business is what public transport is available. The covid-19 pandemic proved that countries and cities must be ready to adapt their mobility networks whenever necessary. San Francisco has been dubbed the most urban mobility-ready city globally, ranking first on the Urban Mobility Readiness Index. San Francisco is well-known for its cable cars, named National Historic Landmark in 1964, attracting almost 6 million riders yearly.
In second place is Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden. There are many ways to get around Stockholm, including subway, bus, tram, ferry, and commuter train. Reflecting the city’s beautiful surroundings, many of Stockholm’s inner city buses run on eco-friendly fuels like ethanol.
Ranking third on the Urban Mobility Readiness Index is the city of Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Many people get around the city via bicycle, using the Baana cycling corridor, a stretch of disused railway line that runs through the city’s center. This year, It was reported that no less than 4,600 city bikes are available to hire in Helsinki.
Next, we used Skytrax again to record the scores for each airline for the following lounge-related factors: lounge comfort, lounge catering, lounge washrooms and showers, lounge internet and wifi, and lounge staff service. We then repeated the same process for the following seat-related factors: seat sleep comfort, seat sitting comfort, seat/bed width, seat/bed length, and seat privacy. We also did this for the following inflight factors: inflight food and beverages, inflight entertainment, inflight staff service, and value for money. We then calculated the average lounge, seat, and inflight score. No score was available for the lounge washrooms and showers for Vistara. All data is correct as of May 22, 2023; therefore, the scores may now differ.
We used sources such as Kearney and Mori M Foundation to create a list of global business cities.
Next, we gathered each city’s average mobile internet and fixed broadband speeds. No data was available for Singapore, Hong Kong, Munich, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., San Francisco, or Vancouver. All data was collected on May 22, 2023.
We then used Times Higher Education to discover how many ‘top 100’ universities were in each city. All data is correct as of May 22, 2023.
Next, we used CEOWorld Magazine to gather the competitiveness score for each city. This score is defined by business activity, human capital, cultural experience, and political engagement. All data was collected on May 22, 2023.
We then gathered the ranking for each city on the ‘Urban Mobility Readiness Index’ using Oliver Wyman Forum. This score is defined by four key trends: connectivity, public transit, electrification, and automation. No data was available for Copenhagen, Melbourne, Geneva, Brussels, Taipei, Osaka, Tel Aviv, and Vienna. All data was collected as of May 22, 2023.
Finally, we calculated an overall score for the best business-class airlines and global business cities. We did this by giving each factor a normalized score out of 10, before taking our final overall score as an average across all factors.