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World's Best International Airlines

Despite high oil prices and growing economic uncertainty, the number of airline passengers on international routes has risen every month as of April compared to 2011, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

In addition, the world’s second largest aircraft maker — Boeing — predicts that global air traffic will continue to rise by 5 percent a year over the next 20 years. As more people decide to fly, there are some airlines that have a distinctive edge over their rivals when it comes to providing the best service.

With this in mind, we look at the world’s 10 best international airlines that were recently announced at the annual World Airline Awards.The awards are run by U.K. market research firm Skytrax, which audits airlines and airports, conducts research for commercial airlines and runs the consumer review site AirlineQuality.com.

The rankings are based on overall customer satisfaction across first, business and economy class, using surveys from more than 18 million airline passengers worldwide. The survey covered 38 individual aspects of airline service, such as check-in, boarding, seat comfort, cleanliness, food and beverage and staff service.

This year, no North American or western European carriers made the top 10 cut.

So, which are the best airlines in the world? Click ahead to find out.

By Rajeshni Naidu-GhelaniPosted July 16, 2012

Photo: Stephen Swintek | Getty Images