Skytrax, a UK based independent airline industry consulting group has released its annual ranking of the world’s best airports at the World Airport Awards and for the first time in nearly a decade, Singapore’s Changi Airport did not win first place.
1. World’s Best Airport
Instead, Doha’s Hamad International Airport, which has been climbing the ranks for years, took first place in the “World’s Best Airport” category for 2021, with Changi placing third. Although Changi has been praised in the past for its ease, comfort and great food and drink options, Hamad International Airport has benefitted from heavy investment from the Qatari government into its flagship airline, Qatar Airways, and the airport itself. Qatar Airways, the country’s national carrier, offers travellers with a connecting flight at HIA free city tours, gratis accommodation and food (depending on the length of the layover) and a VIP transfer service involving airline employees meeting visitors as they disembark and guiding them through the airport and onto their connecting flight.
Addressing the obvious issue of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Skytrax created a second list to specifically highlight airports which performed well regarding new health and hygiene protocols. Instead of ranking them, Skytrax acknowledged the impressive work of 39 airports by listing them in alphabetical order. Regarding the “World’s Best Airport” list for 2021, this was dominated by airports in Europe and Asia, with Japan being voted best-rated country overall given its having three airports in the top 10, including both of Tokyo’s airports Narita and Haneda. The World Airport Awards are voted for by customers in a global airport satisfaction survey conducted from August 2020 to July 2021. This is what the full list of top 10 in the “World’s Best Airport” category looks like:
1. Hamad International Airport (HIA)
2. Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)
3. Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
4. Incheon International Airport (ICN)
5. Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT)
6. Munich Airport (MUC)
7. Zurich Airport (ZRH)
8. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
9. Kansai International Airport (KIX)
10. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
For the full list of 2021 winners, visit the Skytrax World Airport Awards website.