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Airport ranking: these are the 10 best airports in the world

Presented for the first time in 1999, the Skytrax Awards are now regarded as the "Oscars of the airline industry". What makes them so special? Every passenger can be part of the jury.

24 September 2021

The British company Skytrax, which carries out quality certifications for airports and airlines in the form of stars, presents the World Airline Awards every year. They are considered particularly coveted prizes. After all, the rating is based on the opinion of all air travelers who take the time to fill out a short online form. Traditionally, Skytrax awards airlines in several categories, for example for the best in-flight entertainment or the best staff. The "World's Best Airline Award" is considered the supreme discipline. But airports can also be rated. Which airports have succeeded in the airport ranking as the best airports in the world:


Rank 10: Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), China

Hong Kong International Airport is the largest cargo airport in the world. © HKG

It's been better! This year, Cathay Pacific's home airport landed in 10th place, with the airport ranking dropping 4 places from 6th.


Rank 9: Kansai International Airport (KIX), Japan

Osaka Airport is a unique airport in itself, as it is located on an artificial island about five kilometers from the coast in the middle of the sea. In the airport ranking, the airport has moved up one place to 9th.


8th place: London Heathrow (LHR), Great Britain

In 2020, London Airport was the third busiest in the world. © Unsplash

London Heathrow Airport made a big leap forward by four places. Although it was far less busy last year than in previous years, it was still one of the three airports with the best occupancy rates in 2020. The dinosaur of airports opened on 31 May 1946.


7th place: Zurich Airport (ZRH), Switzerland

Zurich Airport is the largest airport in Switzerland. © Zurich Airport Ltd.

In addition to its 7th place in the general airport ranking, the home airport of Swiss Airlines won an award as "World's Cleanest Airport 2021" in Europe. And it is probably also one of the most expensive.


6th place: Munich Airport (MUC), Germany

Munich Airport traditionally ranks among the top 10 airports in the world. © Munich Airport

In addition to the good 6th place, the "Franz Josef Strauß" airport, which opened in 1992, was awarded the title of "Best Airport in Europe" and "World's Best Airport" among airports with an annual passenger load factor of between 20 and 25 million.


5th place: Narita International Airport (NRT), Japan

Located in Chiba Prefecture, about 60 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, the airport is Japan's second-largest airport by passenger volume and ranks 45th internationally. It is also on course for success in the airport rankings. Narita Airport was able to improve its ranking by two places.


4th place: Incheon International Airport (ICN), South Korea

Incheon International Airport (ICN) in South Korea remains in fourth place in the airport rankings. It continues to take measures to protect the environment and now has trees as well as a small pond. The airport, which only opened in 2001, also scores with many modern amenities.


3rd place: Singapore Changi (SIN), Singapore

"The Jewel," an indoor garden with a 40-meter-high water fountain, is the most popular spot at Changi Airport. © Unsplash

Although Singapore Changi Airport had to relinquish its top position, the third-placed airport received top awards in other disciplines. The airport received the awards for "World's Best Airport Staff", "Best Airport Staff in Asia" and "Covid-19 Airport Excellence". According to the airport ranking, travelers love the airport for its green oasis between the terminals, its shops and the food options.


2nd place: Tokyo Haneda (HND), Japan

Tokyo Airport is considered the fifth busiest airport in the world. © Unsplash

The "Best Airport in Asia" remains in second place. It opened in 1931, and much has changed since then. In the beginning, only domestic destinations, Korea and Manchuria were served from Tokyo Haneda. Today, the airport is the third largest Asian airport, after Beijing and Dubai.


Airport ranking 1st place: Hamad International Airport (DOH), Qatar

Opened in 2014, the airport is the home hub of Qatar Airways. © Unsplash

From 3rd place to the top position in the airport ranking: Hamad International Airport in Doha, the capital of Qatar, leads the way. In addition, there were awards for "Best Airport Staff in the Middle East" and "Best Airport in the Middle East". The construction of the modern airport cost around 11 billion US dollars. It has the capacity to handle up to 50 million passengers/year.

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