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Best airports in the world: Doha airport takes No.1 spot

LONDON - Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, has climbed from third in the rankings to be voted the world’s best airport in the 2021 Skytrax World Airport Awards. This means Singapore’s Changi International loses its crown after taking top spot from 2013 to 2020.

Conducted from August 2020 until July 2021, and assessing customer service and facilities across more than 500 airports, the annual customer survey for the passenger’s choice awards saw many travellers vote for their favourite airport based on pre-pandemic travel experiences, the awards organisers said. Meanwhile, others voted after their Covid-19 airport experience during the past 12 months.

Airports in Europe and Asia dominated the 2021 awards. Japan was voted best-rated country overall, with three airports in the top ten, including both of Tokyo’s airports. Moving from No.102 in 2020 to No.17 in this year’s survey, Istanbul Airport in Turkey was named the world’s most improved airport in 2021.

Here we take a look at the world’s top ten airports, as voted by airline passengers, starting with Hamad International...

The airport is “gearing up for an influx of crowds” as Doha and Qatar will host the Fifa World Cup next year, says Travel+Leisure magazine. It has been implementing new changes ahead of the World Cup, including “increasing its annual capacity to 53 million passengers and building a 110,000 sq ft tropical garden, complete with a waterfall that is nearly 900ft tall”.

Haneda Airport in Tokyo was a big winner in the 2021 Skytrax World Airport Awards. Ranked No.2 in the world, it was also named best airport in Asia, the world’s best domestic airport, the world’s best airport for cleanliness, and the best airport for passengers with restricted mobility and accessible facilities. It is the first of three Japanese airports in the top ten.

Changi International in Singapore has been a frequent winner of the world’s best airport title. However, for the time in nearly a decade it’s been knocked off the top spot and is No.3 in 2021. Third place is “an achievement for any other airport”, CNN says, but “perhaps not from the perspective of its superfans, who regularly praise the airport’s ease, comfort and top-notch food and drink options”.