World's best airports announced -- Asia dominates

World's best airports announced -- Asia dominates

The latest Airport Service Quality Awards underscore the differences between Asia and the West
Incheon Airport
Incheon Airport added two movie theaters, an ice rink and the world's first airport Louis Vuitton store during the past year.

Korea’s Incheon International Airport has maintained its streak with a seventh consecutive win in the annual Airport Service Quality Awards from Airports Council International (ACI).

Incheon Airport took the title of “Best Airport Worldwide” of 2011 by ACI on Tuesday, February 14, 2012, for the seventh year in a row.

Singapore's Changi Airport came in second and Beijing Capital International Airport took third in a top five that was filled entirely by Asian airports. Full results are below.

“For Incheon International Airport to dominate in this category for seven consecutive years is testament to the degree to which customer service is intrinsically linked to their business strategy,” said Angela Gittens, the World Director of Airports Council International (ACI).

ACI -- a non-profit organization based in Montreal -- consists of 580 members operating 1,650 airports in 179 countries and territories, and is the only global trade representative of airports.

The ACI rankings are considered some of the most prestigious accolades in the industry, along with the World Airport Awards given by Skytrax, a United Kingdom-based consultancy.

Hong Kong International Airport took the SKYTRAX top prize for 2011, while Singapore's Changi Airport and Incheon International Airport came in second and third.

ACI awards

incheon airport Introducing ... the world's best airportThe ACI's yearly review is based on passenger satisfaction surveys.

'I have been hugely impressed by Incheon International Airport ever since I first came to Korea," said frequent traveler Paul Tonks, who recently traveled to the United Kingdom via Incheon. "As someone who grew up a few miles from Heathrow Airport, one of the world's busiest, I think that the experience of using Incheon is superbly efficient and comfortable."

According to the ACI's 2011 review, Guayaquil (2-5 million passengers), Nagoya (5-15 million passengers), Seoul Gimpo (15-25 million passengers) and Singapore (more than 40 million passengers) were the top performers in their respective categories for Best Airport by Size.

Chongqing, Dubai, East London, Guayaquil, Montreal and Palma de Mallorca took top honors for Best Improvement in their respective regions.

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The past year was a notable one for the Korean "aerotropolis" (airport city), with the additions of an ice rink last September and two movie theaters in January.

Incheon also recorded the highest duty free sales in the world, partly due to the opening of the world’s first airport Louis Vuitton store last September.

And for the upcoming year?

“We expect 300 million people to visit Incheon Airport this year,” said Min-yang Kang, public relations coordinator for the airport.

Best Airport Worldwide for Airport Service Quality

1. Incheon International Airport
2. Singapore Changi Airport
3. Beijing Capital International Airport
4. Hong Kong International Airport
5. Nagoya Chūbu Centrair International Airport

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