For The First Time: Qatar’s Hamad International Airport Is The New World’s Best Airport - The Scene

Singapore’s Changi Airport, which held the title for years, slips down to third in the new 2021 ranking.

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Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha, Qatar has taken the top spot in Skytrax’s annual ranking of the world’s best airports at the World Airport Awards.

This marks the first time the Qatari hub has bested other airports such as Singapore’s Changi Airport, which topped the list for eight consecutive years. It currently ranks third among the airports in the list.

HIA has also earned other awards including the Best Airport in the Middle East, the World’s Best Airport in the 25 to 25 million Passenger category, and the Best Airport Staff in the Middle East.

The recognition is largely attributed to Doha’s flagship airline, Qatar Airways, as well as the Qatari government for its investment in both the national carrier and the airport.

Travelers via Qatar Airways who have a connecting flight at Hamad are entitled to free city tours, gratis accommodation with food, and a VIP transfer service that provide guests with guides from de-planing to boarding the flight.

The 2021 ranking, voted for by consumers in a global airport satisfaction survey conducted from August 2020 until July 2021, also features Japan as the best-rated country, with three of its airports in the top 10: Haneda (2nd), Narita (5th), and Kansai (9th).

In Asia, two more airports—Incheon in South Korea and Hong Kong—join the list, ranking fourth and tenth, respectively.

Meanwhile, hubs in Europe, including Munich in Germany, Zurich in Switzerland, and Heathrow in England, round out the list.

In an Instagram post, Skytrax says the awards “recognize the efforts of global airports in adapting and meeting the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The past year has been the most challenging and financially difficult period ever experienced by the world air transport industry, and airports have invested considerable resources in creating the safest possible travel environment for customers,” the UK-based independent airline industry consulting group adds.

And because airports have been difficult to rate due to the pandemic, Skytrax has also released a second list to acknowledge airports that are successful in addressing the new health protocols.

The list, released in alphabetical order instead of rank, includes the Fiumicino Airport in Rome, the first ever hub to receive a “COVID-19 5-Star Airport Rating” last year. The Haneda Airport in Tokyo has also been recognized as the cleanest airport.

Check the full list of winners per category on the Skytrax World Airport Awards website.

Banner Photo from @hiaqatar on IG

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