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NEWS Last modified on March 7, 2017

World's most customer friendly airports – industry reaction

The world's most customer friendly airports, as decided by passengers in ACI's Airports Service Quality (ASQ) customer satisfaction survey, have begun to give their reaction to the awards.

Indianapolis International Airport once again stood out in ACI's annual customer satisfaction survey, picking up at least one award for the fifth time in six years, in 2016 being named joint Best Airport in North America and the region's top gateway handling between 5-15mppa.

The airport also finished a creditable joint third in the global by size category for airports handling between 5-15mppa, leading it to proclaim that it remains a champion among airports throughout North America in providing an excellent customer experience.

Referring to its 2016 ASQ performance, Indianapolis Airport Authority's executive director, Mario Rodriguez, notes: “This is never a small feat."

"We’re evaluated on 34 key performance indicators by passengers. To earn their top marks for five years running is a significantly encouraging message to the IND staff that work tremendously hard to ensure a stellar customer experience.”

Rodriguez is quick to point out that passengers are surveyed independently by ACI representatives on the day they travel, and rate each airport on performance areas such as airport access, check-in, security screening, stores and restaurants and restrooms.

Annually, ACI representatives administer more than 600,000 surveys in 41 languages across 84 countries.
He says that he believes that the award underscores the IAA’s key operational goal, which is to focus on the public value the Indy airport brings to passengers, and the local and state community.

“We have a beautiful and well-run facility, and a staff that provides an excellent experience for the more than 8.5 million passengers traveling through Indy each year,” comments Rodriguez.

“That combined contributes to an annual economic impact of $5.4 billion, and that’s a strong measure of the value the airport delivers to Central Indiana."

heathrow 175819440856072 thumb 2

In response to London Heathrow being named the Best Airport in Europe handling over 40 million passengers per annum, Normand Boivin, Heathrow’s chief operating officer said: “We are incredibly proud to receive this award voted by our most important critics – our passengers. 

“Our team are continually striving to deliver the world’s best airport service.

"Last year was an exciting one for us at Heathrow with the introduction of additional new e-gates making arrivals even smoother across all terminals, the installation of new generation instrument landing systems to improve punctuality in poor weather, a wave of new luxury lounges across all terminals and the opening of Terminal 5’s first ever Personal Shopping suite.   
“In 2017 we look forward to a wave of new luxury lounges for passengers, the beginning of construction on Terminal 2’s very own hotel and the reopening of Gordon Ramsay’s much loved Plane Food in Terminal 5.”

The airport reveals that 82% of passengers rated their Heathrow experience as either "very good" or "excellent".
Queen Alia
Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, named the Best Airport in the Middle East for airports handling between 5-15mppa and joint third place in the same size category for airports across the globe, believes the award reflects the hard work of all the airport's stakeholders. 

“It is an honour and a privilege to witness the ongoing progress of Jordan’s prime gateway to the world, which was kick-started in 2013 with the inauguration of the airport’s new terminal by His Majesty King Abdullah II,” notes Airport International Group CEO, Kjeld Binger.

“QAIA’s success is Jordan’s success, and we have been proud to work alongside our partners in the Government of Jordan to ensure the perpetuation of this fruitful public-private partnership, which continues to contribute to Jordan’s reputation as a welcoming destination for business, foreign investment and tourism.”

Queen Alia ASQ
Binger added: “Over the years, our objective has been to sustain our position as one of the top airports serving 5 to 15 million passengers – this year, QAIA fulfilled that goal, landing in the coveted position of third place worldwide.

"This climb would not have been possible without the incredible teams at Airport International Group and QAIA, in addition to the many partners, shareholders and stakeholders who have offered their unwavering support and passion throughout the years.

"Our faith in QAIA and Jordan is stronger than ever, and we look forward to further enhancing customer satisfaction and adding more successes to QAIA’s long and impressive record of achievements.”
Sochi International Airport, one of the big winners in the 2016 ASQ awards, was named the Best Airport in Europe as well as joint Best Airport in the World handling between 2-5mppa; and the Best Airport in Europe in the 2-5mppa category.

Leonid Sergeev, CEO of operator Basel Aero, believes that the installation of new self-service technology to reduce queues in check-in areas and cranking up the gateway's customer service efforts during 2016 were the key reasons behind its success.

Adoption rates of the self-service technology 30% during the year.

He says: "One of the major projects in the field of service quality improvement is Service Blue Printing, which involves the development of behaviour and communication standards for employees during their interaction with passenger; skill training developed in terms of clients’ expectations and desired feeling of service when visiting the airport.

"This year, the airport will continue to work on improving staff skills and applying the best international practices, which combine safety, passenger flow growth and a friendly atmosphere."
Talking about Hyderabad International Airport being ranked equal Best Airport in the World handling between 5-15mppa, SGK Kishore, the CEO of operator GHIAL, enthuses:  “We are delighted and honoured to be ranked No. 1 Airport in ACI ASQ survey.

"We are thankful to our passengers to be part of this journey and helping us in reaching this milestone, yet again.

"We are also thankful to our stakeholders including Ministry of Civil Aviation, CISF, Airlines, Immigration, Customs for their cooperation in making Hyderabad Airport the very best airport in the world.

"The immense efforts put in by our partner airlines, concessionaires, housekeeping and other support staff played a major role in this achievement."

Further commenting on the achievement,  Kishore, says:“While the recognition has definitely made all of us proud, I believe that we have still miles to go.

"Hyderabad Airport, now its ninth year of operations, is designed to cater to 12mppa. However, it has witnessed a growth of more than 20% in the last year and our passenger throughput will be close to 15mppa in the 2016 calendar year. As a result, we plan to expand the airport to enhance its capacity to accommodate 20mppa.

"Until then, as an interim measures to manage the current traffic growth, we will endeavour to improve passenger processing by relocating our passenger checkpoints in the terminal and embracing technology.

"With regards the latter, it is worth noting that Hyderabad Airport is the first in India to have implemented end-to-end e-boarding solution.

"While working towards a future-ready airport, we are also sensitive towards the environment, and hence 15% of airport’s energy requirement is met by the captive 5MW solar power plant."

"Our environment sustainable measures have earned us carbon neutrality (Level 3+, neutrality) recognition by ACI.”


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