Hamad International Airport in Qatar is shrugging off competition from other mega airports and travel hubs in the Middle East to maintain its status as the region’s best airport for the third consecutive year.
Such status was reaffirmed at a ceremony that took place as part of the Passenger Terminal Expo in Amsterdam, where the airport was named “Best Airport in the Middle East” and awarded the “Best Staff Service in The Middle East” accolade for the second year in a row.
Hamad International was similarly announced as the world’s sixth best airport by the 2017 Skytrax World Airport Awards. The new rank moves Hamad International four places from last year.
The airport stands out in the region as the only airport with the best-in-class designator. It was classified as a five-star airport earlier in 2017 following a Skytrax audit. It is also among no more than six airports worldwide that have earned the five-star distinction.
“We are delighted to congratulate our home and hub, HIA, on being ranked the Sixth Best Airport in the World by Skytrax. HIA opened within the last four years and climbed to the sixth position in the world airports ranking, a move which clearly demonstrates our continued commitment to delivering the highest standard of service to our passengers, who have graciously given us their vote of confidence. It is even more notable to receive these prestigious awards as we significantly grow the number of passengers served at HIA year on year, to 37 million in 2016,” Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said in reaction to the achievement.
The World Airport Awards are voted for by customers worldwide through the largest annual airport customer satisfaction survey that involves 12.8 million customer nominations across 110 countries and 410 airports worldwide.
Last month, the airport announced that it witnessed a record 37.3 million passengers in 2016, registering a 20.5% increase compared to 2015. According to airport officials, 245,800 landings and take-offs took place at the airport during the same year.
The large numbers of travelers prompted a Qatari plan to expand its airport’s capacity to more than 65 million passengers as announced by Al Baker, who said that the project will start in the current year.
“The government has approved the expansion of the airport. There is a new steering committee that has been formulated under the chairmanship of Abdullah bin Nasser Turki al-Subaey. The aim is to complete the expansion work as soon as possible,” Al Baker said.