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We pay tribute to the 2018 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer experience award winners and talk to some of the CEOs of the successful gateways.

It’s official, Beijing Capital, Delhi-Indira Gandhi, Mumbai-Chhatrapati Shivaji, Singapore Changi, Shanghai Pudong and Seoul–Gimpo are some of the best airports in the world for the delivery of customer service.

All triumphed in ACI’s annual newly improved and rebranded ‘customer experience’ Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards, while Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport won the first ever ASQ Arrivals Award.

The latter award, based on ASQ’s new Arrivals Survey, means that the Indian gateway becomes the first airport in the world to win both a Departures and an Arrivals award.

Hari Marar, managing director and CEO of operator, Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL), believes that the ACI ASQ award affirms the company’s commitment to delivering an “excellent passenger experience” at Kempegowda.

He says: “Our airport is on the cusp of tremendous development and we will continue to ensure our passengers have a superlative experience.”

The new format of the awards, which recognise the airports around the world delivering the best customer experience in the opinion of their own passengers, means that more gateways than ever before are lauded for their customer service focused efforts, facilities and services.

Indeed, a host of airports have won their first ASQ award, including Biju Patnaik in India; Muscat in Oman and Yichang Sanxia in China.

China’s airports won a total of 10 awards in 2018 – Changchun Longjia, Hohhot Baita, Nanchang Changbei, Haikou Meilan, Sanya Fenghua, Tianjin Binhai, and Chongqing Jiangbei joining Beijing Capital, Shanghai Pudong and Yichang Sanxia on the winner’s podium.

Indonesia was another nation with multiple award winners with a total of seven airports (Depati Amir, Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II, Raja Haji Fisabilillah, Sultan Syarif Kasim II, Sepinggan, Silangit and Sultan Thaha) either winning again or tasting success for the first time.

In fact, in the new ‘Best Infrastructure and Facilitation’ section, no fewer than seven Indonesian and eight Chinese airports are recognised in their size category.

Other nations with multiple winners included India, which in addition to Bengaluru-Kempegowda, Biju Patnaik, Delhi-Indira Gandhi and Mumbai-Chhatrapati Shivaji saw Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Cochin and Indore-Devi Ahilyabi Holkar enjoy ASQ success.

Asia-Pacific champions

In arguably the most fiercely competitive region of them all, passengers were unable to separate Singapore Changi, Shanghai Pudong, Delhi-Indira Gandhi and Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji airports for top place in the Over 40mppa category in the By Size and Region Awards.

Chongqing Jiangbei and Bengaluru-Kempegowda are the best airports handling 25-40mppa; Haikou-Meilan, Sanya Fenghua and Tianjin Binhai top for 15-25mppa; Changchun Longjia, Cochin, Hohhot Baita, Nanchang Changbei and Sepinggan best for 5-15mppa; Biju Patnaik, Chandigarh, Indore–Devi Ahilyabai, SM Badaruddin, SS Karim and Yichang Sanxia best for 2-5mppa; and Depati Amir and Sultan Thaha the winners in the Under 2mppa category.

And many of these airports triumphed again the new global categories for Best Environment and Ambience by Size; Best Customer Service by Size; and Best Infrastructure and Facilitation by Size.

They include Singapore Changi, which in addition to winning the Best by Size and Region Award for Over 40mppa in Asia-Pacific, along with Beijing Capital, is also now officially the best airport in the world in the same size category for Best Environment and Ambience, Best Customer Service and Best Infrastructure and Facilitation.

Others to win multiple awards include Chongqing Jiangbei (25-40mppa); Tianjin Binhai (15-25mppa); Changchun Longjia, Hohhot Baita, Nanchang Changbei and Sepinggan (5-15mppa); Chandigarh, SM Badaruddin, SS Karim and Yichang Sanxia (2-5mppa); and Depati Amir and Sultan Thaha (Under 2mppa).

Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO of Delhi–Indira Gandhi operator, DIAL, says: “The award is testament to the continued improvements in passenger-service that Delhi Airport has witnessed since DIAL took over its operations in 2006.

“Despite robust traffic growth, and ongoing expansion works, we have maintained our high Airport Service Quality ranking. This demonstrates the dedication, hard work and collaboration with our stakeholders.”

Middle East

Queen Alia in Amman, Jordan, is the best airport in the Middle East in the 5-15 million passengers per annum category, while Muscat International Airport in Oman is the region’s Most Improved gateway.

Talking about Queen Alia’s success, Kjeld Binger, CEO of operator, Airport International Group, enthuses: “Winning this prestigious accolade is a true reflection of our commitment to continuously enhancing the quality of services at Queen Alia and to providing our passengers with a positive travel experience, whether it be through improved facilities, expedited procedures or passenger offerings.”

Roll of honour

A full list of winners can be viewed on the ACI World website at https://aci.aero/customer-experience-asq/asq-awards/ current-winner-2018/ current-winner-2018/

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