Singapore is no longer the world’s best airport

Boasting the world’s largest indoor waterfall, rooftop pool, hot chip cafe, movie theatre and even a butterfly garden, the innovative and impressive Singapore Changi Airport spent close to a decade as the world’s best airport.

But not anymore.

Hamad International Airport in Doha has been named the world’s best airport in Skytrax’s 2021 World Airport Awards, an annual ranking based on results of a global airport satisfaction survey.

Hamad International Airport in Doha has been named the world’s best airport in 2021.Source:Supplied

Singapore Changi has fallen to third place in 2021.Source:istock

It’s the first time in eight years Singapore has not been in the top spot. This year it slumped down to third, behind Tokyo Haneda Airport, which retained its second place position.

Doha’s Hamad International Airport, which placed third in 2020, has been rising up the rankings since it opened in 2014.

While other international airports have seen months of inactivity due to Covid-19, Hamad has continued to forge ahead with improvements in preparation for the FIFA World Cup in Doha next year.

Hamad International Airport has been gearing up for Doha to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Picture: AFP/StringerSource:AFP

It has increased its annual capacity to 53 million passengers and is building a massive tropical garden, complete with a 268m-tall waterfall.

“As travel hubs worldwide have been impacted by the pandemic, Hamad International Airport was undeterred by the global travel disruptions and continued with its expansion plans while introducing additional airport health and safety standards,” Edward Plaisted of Skytrax said.

The airport has not been without controversy, however. In October, it was the centre of a diplomatic incident between Australia and Qatar after a number of women, including 13 Australians, were dragged off a Sydney-bound plane by Qatari authorities and stripsearched after the discovery of an abandoned baby at the airport. The Qatari government promised a comprehensive and transparent investigation following international outrage over the women’s ordeal.

Tokyo Haneda, which has seen plenty of action during the Olympic Games, came in second place. Picture: iStockSource:istock

A huge number of topics were covered in the Skytrax customer surveys that produced the annual ranking, from terminal comfort and design, public transport option and prices, quality of information on flight screens, waiting times at security and immigration, and Wi-Fi service, among others.

No Australian airport placed in the top 10 list, which was dominated by airports in Europe and Asia.

Melbourne came 22nd, Sydney 28th, Brisbane 32nd, Perth 67th, Adelaide 74th and Gold Coast 77th.

Elsewhere in the annual awards, Istanbul Airport was named world’s most improved airport after rising from 102nd spot in 2020 to number 17 in 2021.

Singapore Changi claimed the subcategory of best airport with 10 to 15 million passengers, as well as world’s best airport staff.

Tokyo Haneda was named world’s best airport for cleanliness and accessible facilities, and Munich was named the best airport in Europe.

World’s best airports in 2021

1. Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar

2. Tokyo Haneda Airport, Japan

3. Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore

4. Incheon International Airport, South Korea

5. Tokyo Narita Airport, Japan

6. Munich Airport, Germany

7. Zurich Airport, Switzerland

8. London Heathrow Airport, UK

9. Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan

10. Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong

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