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Asia-Pacific gateways once again lead the way in ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer satisfaction awards, winning all the global best airport by size categories.

There is clearly no stopping Asia-Pacific’s airports which once again demonstrated their customer service credentials by winning a host of awards in ACI’s annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) passenger satisfaction survey.

Bigger and better than ever with more airports participating (318) and more award categories than before, a record-equalling 62 gateways were recognised for their customer service excellence in 2016. Led, as always, by Incheon International Airport, which once again scooped the coveted prize for the world’s best airport handling over 40 million passengers.

It is the third year on the trot that the Seoul gateway has won the honour, this time finishing ahead of three airports that couldn’t be separated for joint second place – Singapore Changi and India’s Delhi-Indira Gandhi and Mumbai-Chhatrapati Shivaji airports. 

China’s Beijing Capital International Airport was third to complete a memorable clean sweep for Asia-Pacific.

Treble award winning Incheon was also named Best Airport in the Asia-Pacific region for the 12th successive year and Best Airport by Size and Region in the Over 40mppa category in ACI’s Asia-Pacific region. 

Asia-Pacific airports actually triumphed in all the global by size categories and for the first time in quite a few years there were new winners in three of the five groups – Taipei Taoyuan (25-40mppa), Haikou Meilan (15-25mppa) and Hyderabad/Tianjin Binhai (5-15mppa), although in Haikou Meilan’s case it was reclaiming the crown it last won in 2014.

Talking about Hyderabad International Airport being ranked equal world’s Best Airport in the 5-15mppa category, SGK Kishore, the CEO of operator GHIAL, enthuses: “We are delighted and honoured to be ranked the number one airport in ACI’s ASQ survey. 

“We are thankful to our passengers for being part of this journey and helping us in reaching this milestone, yet again. 

“We are also thankful to our many stakeholders, which include the Ministry of Civil Aviation, CISF, the airlines, Immigration and Customs for their co-operation in making Hyderabad Airport the very best airport in the world. 

“The immense efforts put in by our partner airlines, concessionaires, housekeeping and other support staff played a major role in this achievement.”

Jaipur International Airport retained its status as the best airport on the planet in the global 2-5mppa category, only this time the Indian gateway had to share the honour with Guayaquil in Ecuador and Sochi in Russia.

Double winning Jaipur also held onto its Best Airport by Size and Region title in the 2-5mppa category for Asia-Pacific.


Following suit in terms of being two time winners in the 2016 ASQ awards are Tianjin, Haikou Meilan and Taipei Taoyuan which followed up their success in the global by size categories with top spots in the respective 5-15mppa, 15-25mppa and 25-40mppa awards for the Asia-Pacific region.

In the Middle East, Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport won the new 5-15mppa category, its success making up for it losing out on a hat-trick of wins for being Best Airport in the Middle East, that honour going to Abu Dhabi International Airport. 

Amman’s gateway to the world was runner up to Abu Dhabi though, narrowly edging out Dubai (DXB), which retained its status as the world’s busiest international airport last year.

Abu Dhabi International Airport, which expects to open its eagerly awaited new Midfield Terminal in 2019, also won an award for the Most Improved Airport in the Middle East.

“We are heartened by the appreciation we are receiving from passengers through these prestigious international awards,” says Abdul Majeed Al Khoori, acting CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports.

“These awards are thanks to the hard work of our team at Abu Dhabi International Airport and our stakeholders, and reflects the team spirit of those working in the airport’s terminals to make sure that the passenger experience is as exceptional as possible. 

“This international recognition is the best vote of confidence in our services, which we strive continuously to develop and enhance to meet the expectations of our unique passenger demographics, and to reflect the proud image of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”


Reflecting on his airport’s ASQ success, Kjeld Binger, CEO of Queen Alia operator Airport International Group, notes: “It is an honour and a privilege to witness the ongoing progress of Jordan’s prime gateway to the world, which was kick-started in 2013 with the inauguration of the airport’s new terminal by His Majesty King Abdullah II.

“QAIA’s success is Jordan’s success, and we have been proud to work alongside our partners in the Government of Jordan to ensure the perpetuation of this fruitful public-private partnership, which continues to contribute to Jordan’s reputation as a welcoming destination for business, foreign investment and tourism.”

Binger added: “Over the years, our objective has been to sustain our position as one of the top airports serving 5 to 15 million passengers – this year, QAIA fulfilled that goal, landing in the coveted position of third place worldwide. 

“This climb would not have been possible without the incredible teams at Airport International Group and QAIA, in addition to the many partners, shareholders and stakeholders who have offered their unwavering support and passion throughout the years. 

“Our faith in QAIA and Jordan is stronger than ever, and we look forward to further enhancing customer satisfaction and adding more successes to QAIA’s long and impressive record of achievements.”


Other Asia-Pacific airports to do well included Srinagar and Langkawi, which finished joint second and third respectively in the global Best by Size category for airports handling 2-5mppa; and China’s Changchun Longjia and Hohhot Baita (Inner Mongolia) airports for finishing joint second in the global Best Airport by Size category for 5-15mppa.

In the other global Best by Size awards, Sanya Phoenix and Seoul Gimpo were joint second, and Bali’s Denpasar–Ngurah Rai International Airport third, in the 15-25mppa category; and China’s Shenzhen Bao’an and Hangzhou airports were second and third respectively in the 25-40mppa group.

Rest of the world

US President, Donald Trump, should take note that Indianapolis and Jacksonville shared joint top spot with Toronto’s Billy Bishop City Airport for the accolade of Best Airport in North America.

It is the fifth year in a row that Indianapolis International Airport has won the award. El Paso, Ottawa and Tampa were joint runner’s up while six gateways shared third place – Austin-Bergstrom, Dallas Love Field, Edmonton, Halifax, San Antonio and Winnipeg.

Indianapolis also retained its No. 1 ranking in the Best Airport by Size and Region category in North America for airports handing 5-15mppa.

And Indiana’s ASQ champion and Jacksonville finished joint third in the global Best by Size category for airports handling between 5-15mppa, sharing the honour with Queen Alia (Jordan), Chiang Mai (Thailand) and Cochin (India) airports. 

Referring to its 2016 ASQ performance, Indianapolis Airport Authority’s executive director, Mario Rodriguez, notes: “This is never a small feat.

“We’re evaluated on 34 key performance indicators by passengers. To earn their top marks for five years running is a significantly encouraging message to the IND staff that work tremendously hard to ensure a stellar customer experience.”

In the other Best by Size and Region categories for North America, the award winners were Saskatoon (Under than 2mppa); Toronto Billy Bishop (2-5mppa); Tampa (15-25mppa); Minneapolis (25-40mppa); and Dallas/Fort Worth (Over 40mppa).

Elsewhere in the world, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (SSR International) in Mauritius has cause to celebrate after winning Best Airport in Africa for the third consecutive year, once again pipping South Africa’s Durban (2nd) and Cape Town (3rd) airports to the honour.

South Africa did have one out and out ASQ winner though, Bloemfontein’s Bram Fischer International Airport which won awards for the Best Airport in Africa handling under 2mppa and the Most Improved Airport in Africa.

Europe’s airports are used to missing out in the global by size categories, but this says more about the fierce competition they face on the world stage than anything else, as any regular reader of Airport World will know that customer service excellence and innovation is alive and kicking across the continent’s airports.

In addition to Sochi, star ASQ performers from the continent in 2016 included Moscow Sheremetyevo, which was runner up for Best Airport in Europe, and joint third placed Dublin, Malta, Porto and Zurich airports.

In terms of the Best by Size and Region awards in Europe, Murcia (Under 2mppa); Porto (5-15mppa), Vienna (15-25mppa), Moscow Sheremetyevo (25-40mppa) and London Heathrow (Over 40mppa) took the honours – the latter two for the second successive year.

Both Guayaquil and Sochi are multiple award winners and impressed again in 2016. The former being named Best Airport in Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) for the fourth successive year and Sochi winning Best Airport in Europe outright last year after sharing top spot with Moscow Sheremetyevo and St Petersburg-Pulkovo in 2015.

The 2016 results also saw Sochi hold on its title of Best Airport by Size in Europe in the 2-5mppa section and Guayaquil winning the equivalent award for the LAC region, which introduced the category for the first time.

Other new category winners were Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Queen Alia in Amman, which finished top of the pile for airports handling between 5-15mppa in ACI’s LAC and Middle East regions respectively.

Punta Cana also did well in the Best Airport by Region category, finishing equal second in LAC with Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport. Quito and Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport (Oranjestad) came third.

Fellow Dominican Republic gateway, Puerto Plata, won Best Airport in LAC handling Under 2mppa and Queen Beatrix lifted the Most Improved Airport award for the region.

Most Improved Airport awards for Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific were picked up by Kraków (Poland), Columbus (USA) and Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar (Indonesia) respectively.


Global reaction

ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, was quick to heap praise on the ASQ winners and all 318 airports to take part in the organisation’s 2016 benchmarking programme.

“I am delighted that as we celebrated the 10th anniversary of helping airports understand how best to serve their customers with the ASQ Programme, we see our largest group of winners ever.

“These airports have dedicated themselves to delivering a stellar customer experience. Promoting a culture of continuous service improvement has become a matter of gaining a competitive advantage and optimising non-aeronautical revenue performance. 

“ACI proudly recognises these accomplishments and we look forward to seeking more effective, efficient and profitable ways of serving the flying public together.” 

The ASQ Awards Ceremony will be held at the 27th ACI Africa/World Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition in Port Louis, Mauritius, on October 16–18, 2017.

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