SINGAPORE Airlines (SIA) dropped a position this year and ranked 19th in Fortune magazine's annual list of the 50 most admired companies in the world.
Despite the fall, the flagship carrier remained the highest-ranked Asian company on the list and the only one from Singapore. It also preceded global brands including Microsoft, Facebook, Unilever and Goldman Sachs Group.
On the overall 'Most Admired Companies' list, SIA was sandwiched between Southwest Airlines, which ranked seventh, and Delta Air Lines, which ranked 39th.
But within the airline industry list, based on industry experts' responses, Delta ranked first, SIA second, while Southwest did not make it to the list.
To arrive at the rankings, Fortune's survey partners at Hay Group started with approximately 1,400 companies: the Fortune 1,000 - the 1,000 largest US companies ranked by revenue, and non-US companies in Fortune's Global 500 database with revenues of US$10 billion or more.
Hay then selected the 15 largest for each international industry and the 10 largest for each US industry, surveying a total of 668 companies from 29 countries.
To create the 55 industry lists, Hay asked executives, directors and security analysts to rate companies in their own industry on nine criteria, from investment value to social responsibility. A company's score must rank in the top half of its industry survey to be listed.
To arrive at the top 50 'Most Admired Companies', Hay asked approximately 4,100 executives, directors and security analysts who had responded to the industry surveys to select the 10 companies they admired most.
They chose from a list made up of the companies that ranked in the top 25 per cent of last year's surveys, and those that finished in the top 20 per cent of their industry.