Jul 172015
 

Take a look at these marvelous airports for international business travel. Ten of the World’s 100 Finest Airports of 2015 are illustrated and described below (including in parenthesis their rankings among the World’s Best Airports Awards annually given by Skytrax in 2013 and 2014, and the question pertaining to how many of America’s Airports are the World’s 100 Finest Airports for Business Travel in 2015 is briefly summarized in the Appendix).

Skytrax’s 2015 World Airport Awards, recently held this month at Passenger Terminal EXPO in Barcelona, Spain, are the most prestigious accolades for the airport industry, voted by customers in the largest, annual global airport customer satisfaction survey.

The World Airport Awards are based on 13.02 million business and leisure air traveler nominations across 112 nationalities of passengers, and included 550 airports worldwide.

The survey evaluates customer satisfaction across 39 key performance indicators for airport service and product – from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration, through to departure at the gate.

Finally, the process of taking air traveller opinions and of administering the final awards is independent and free of any airport influence or interference in the determination of the final awards.

Let’s take a moment to just gaze at how beautiful voyage and travel can be, the moment we land into one of these lovely international airport destinations or arrivals.

These international airports are the new shopping malls, tanning and beauty salons, sports bars, movie theaters, recreation and fitness centers, finest restaurants and wineries, coffee houses, and duty-free bazaars and bonanzas of the world.

Akin to David Letterman’s Top 10 Countdown, here we go:

#10 Beijing Capital International Airport, Beijing, China, (#5 in 2013, #7 in 2014)

Falling five spots since 2013 and down three spots from last year in Skytrax’s World’s 100 Best Airports, Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), is also called “China Gateway.” It is among the largest, and busiest international aviation hubs in the world.

Photo Credit: Bernt Rostad

#9 Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands, (#3 in 2013, #5 in 2014)

Airport Schiphol is the Netherlands’ main international airport, dropping six positions since 2013 and down four positions from last year in Skytrax’s ranking of the World’s 100 Best Airports.

Over the last 30 years, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has won many global airport awards in various categories, from both airline and passenger organizations. In 2014, 55 million passengers travelled through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

#8 London Heathrow Airport, London, United Kingdom, (#10 in 2013, 2014)

London’s Heathrow Airport, fell just a couple of spots since 2013 and from last year in Skytrax’s World’s 100 Best Airports. Nonetheless, Heathrow was again selected by customers as having the World’s Best Airport Shopping, and doubled up on its success with Terminal 5 being named the World’s Best Airport Terminal.

Photo Credit: eGuide Travel

London Heathrow Airport is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic. Previously, London Heathrow was the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, the airport serving largely as the transatlantic oceanic front door to the European continent, until recently, as that busiest passenger throughput designation has been yielded to Dubai Airport.

#7 ファイル: (Chubu Centrair) Central Japan International Airport, Tokyo, Japan, (#12 in 2014)

Rising up five spots from last year rankings of Skytrax’s World’s 100 Best Airports, Chūbu Central Japan International Airport in Nagoya is the country’s third off-shore airport, after Nagasaki Airport and Kansai International Airport.

Central Japan International in Nagoya is the second airport built in Japan on a man-made island, operating to Asiana cities such as Bangkok and Singapore. Longer haul routes include Helsinki, Frankfurt, Honolulu and Detroit.

When the airport opened on February 17, 2005, it took over almost all of the existing Nagoya Airport (now Nagoya Airfield‘s) commercial flights, and relieved Tokyo and Kansai areas of cargo shipments.

As Airport Technology chronicles: Centrair, formally known as the Central Japan International Airport, was conceived and constructed as a new air gateway to the central region of Japan. The artificial airport island is located in the Aichi prefecture, about 170 miles southwest of Tokyo.

Central Japan International Airport (Centrair) won the Director General’s Roll of Excellence award from the Airport Council International (ACI). It also won Skytrax’s Best Regional Airport Asia Award for 2011 and was ranked second in Skytrax’s Best Airport Security Processing for 2011. In 2010, it won ACI’s Airport Service Quality Award among airports handling over 5 million to 15 million passengers.

“The airport now serves a major population center of about ten million people and also a major industrial area; the airport also handles a significant quantity of commercial cargo from the area. Much of the cargo leaving Centrair consists of orders from automobile producers based in the region,” according to Airport Technology.

#6 Zürich Airport, Zürich, Switzerland, (#7 in 2013, #8 in 2014) 

Zürich Airport is the largest international airport of Switzerland, climbing up a spot since 2013 and rising up two spots from last year in Skytrax’s ranking of the World’s 100 Best Airports. The Swiss airport is the principal hub for Swiss International Air Lines. 

According to the airport’s website, 1,794,687 passengers were serviced at Zürich Airport during December 2013, a gain of 0.3% versus December 2012.

Photo Credit: eGuide Travel

#5 Tokyo (Haneda) International Airport, Tokyo, Japan, (#9 in 2013, #6 in 2014)

One of Tokyo’s primary airports, the Tokyo International Airport boasts of restaurants, shops and duty-free shops, as this fine airport climbs four spots since 2013 and jumps up a spot from last year in Skytrax’s World’s 100 Best Airports.

Tokyo International Airport Haneda plays a very important role in furthering Japan’s development as a tourism-oriented nation.

Tokyo International Airport (Japanese: 東京国際空港 Tōkyō Kokusai Kūkō), commonly known as Haneda Airport (Japanese: 羽田空港 Haneda Kūkō) or Tokyo Haneda Airport, is one of the two primary airports that serve the Greater Tokyo Area, and is the primary base of Japan‘s two major domestic airlines, Japan Airlines (Terminal 1) and All Nippon Airways (Terminal 2), sources Wikipedia.

Haneda International Airport and Marketplace is the operations hub for 5 major airlines of the region, namely low-cost carriers Air Do, Skymark Airlines, Solaseed Air, andStarFlyer, and Skynet Asia airways. It is located in Ota, Tokyo, and 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) south of Tokyo Station, the heart of Tokyo’s transport system.

Its original primary role was to serve the Tokyo region and handle almost all domestic flights. It now shares that role with Narita International Airport, which handles most international flights.

Haneda International Airport serviced 68,906,636 passengers in 2013. By measure of passenger throughput, Haneda is the second busiest airport in Asia and the fourth busiest in the world, after Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Beijing Capital Airport (Asia’s busiest) and London Heathrow Airport.

Haneda International Airport, the third largest air cargo hub in Japan, and Narita International Airport altogether combine to make Tokyo the third busiest city airport hub in the world, after London and New York City.

Photo Credit: MIKI Yoshihito (´・ω・)

ForbesTraveller.com recognized Haneda International Airport as the most punctual airport in the world for two years in a row in December 2009, with 94.3% of its flights departing on time and 88.6% arriving on time.

Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport is named as the “World’s Cleanest Airport in 2014,” voted for by 12.85 million business and leisure travelers from 110 countries, and top-ranking 410 international airports in the 2014 World Airport Survey.

#4 Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong, Lantau Island, People’s Republic of China, (#4 in 2013, 2014)

Placing in fourth place for the third consecutive year of Skytrax’s World’s 100 Best Airports, in addition to boasting in its resume a number of Skytrax World’s Top Airport Awards in previous years, Hong Kong International Airport is a splendidly sprawling two-terminal and two-runway facility.

According to the airport’s website, it offers connectivity to over 100 airlines, operating flights to about 180 locations worldwide, including 44 destinations on the Chinese Mainland.

Hong Kong International Airport on Lantau Island is a state-of-the-art structure designed by the acclaimed British architect Lord Norman Foster.

According to Discover Hong Kong, “this awesome state-of-the-art structure completed in 1998 was voted one of the “Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century” by the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association.”

“Uncluttered spaces and lots of natural light are what make this an impressive entrance way to Asia’s world city. It also remains one of the world’s largest and most popular airports, and has been recognized as the world’s best airport over 40 times.”

The terminals contain extensive facilities for shopping, dining, leisure and entertainment. Remarkably, Hong Kong’s airport has a nine-hole golf course, a 4-D movie projection screen, and plenty of Asia’s best shopping, according to Forbes.

“Located within five hours flying time from half the world’s population, the airport has two runways and two terminals that serve around 100 airlines from all over the world,” Discover Hong Kong adds. “In addition to connecting to 160 destinations by air, the airport easily connects to over 100 cities and towns in Mainland China via road and sea transport.

#3 Munich Airport, Munich, Germany, (#6 in 2013, #3 in 2014)

Climbing three spots since 2013 in Skytrax’s World’s 100 Best Airports, before holding onto third place for a second consecutive year, Munich Airport, including its 150 retail outlets and over 50 dining amenities, is the second busiest airport in Germany and the secondary hub for Lufthansa German Airlines.

Says Christopher HellerstedtClient relations | Systems Analyst | Sales | Global, “I have really enjoyed Munich Airport. It is quite large, but easy to navigate and a lot to do there. As someone who has a passion to travel, this was a fun article to read and see which airports I have not visited, but now look forward to visiting!”

Photo Credit: yisris

#2 Incheon International Airport, Incheon, South Korea, (#2 in 2013, 2014)

Formerly a Skytrax Best Airport Award recipient, Incheon International Airport (Korean: 인천국제공항, sometimes referred to as Seoul-Incheon International Airport), is the runner-up of Skytrax’s Best Airport Awards for a third year in a row.

Known as “the most beautiful airport in the world,” Incheon International Airport is the primary aviation hub in South Korea, serving the Seoul Capital Area, and one of the largest and busiest airports in the world.

According to Wikipedia: “Located 48 kilometers (30 miles) west of Seoul, the capital and the largest city of South Korea, Incheon International Airport is the main hub for Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air, and Polar Air Cargo. The airport serves as a hub for international civilian air transportation and cargo traffic in East Asia.”

Photo Credits: alberth2

“Incheon International Airport is also currently Asia’s eighth busiest airport in terms of passengers, the world’s fourth busiest airport by cargo traffic, and the world’s ninth busiest airport in terms of international passengers in 2013. In that year, 40,785,953 international passengers [traveled through] the airport.”

#1 Singapore’s Changi International Airport, Changi, Singapore, (#1 in 2013, 2014)

Changi Airport in Singapore has been voted Skytrak’s World’s Best Airport by air travelers for a third consecutive year in a row.

For a second year in a row, Changi Airport enjoyed double success at the Awards, also receiving the award as Best Airport for Leisure Amenities, including a fitness center, a swimming pool, movie theaters, finest eateries and shopping, butterfly and sunflower gardens, and a team of 500 gardeners taking care of Singapore Changi’s splendid indoor Singapore forestry. 

The vast array of leisure and entertainment facilities are a unique, stand-out feature for Changi Airport, and underline the dedication of this airport to ensure a maximum level of passenger satisfaction. 

Singapore’s Changi International Airport, or simply Changi Airport, is the main airport in Singapore, and the facility is a major aviation hub in Southeast Asia, about 17 kilometer (11 mile) north-east from the commercial center in Changi. 

The airport, operated by the Changi Airport Group, is the base hub for Singapore Airlines, Singapore Airlines Cargo, SilkAir, AirAsia, Scoot, Tigerair, Jetstar Asia Airways, Jett8 Airlines, and Valuair, according the airport’s website.

Opened in 2008, T3 is Changi Airport’s ‘green’ terminal with natural skylighting and gardens that feature over 200 species of plants and trees, claims Changi Airport officials. T3 has a four-story tall slide, the world’s first butterfly garden in an airport, a movie theatre, as well as over 130 shopping and dining amenities.

Recently attending the 2015 Awards event in Paris, France, Mr. Lee Seow Hiang, Chief Executive Officer of Changi Airport Group said “it is a great honor to be named World’s Best Airport by Skytrax for the third year running. This recognition is particularly pleasing for us, as it comes at a time of transformation at Changi Airport.”

Mr. Hiang added: “We are undertaking a number of significant development projects, including Terminal 4 and Jewel Changi Airport, with some works taking place amid ongoing airport operations.”

“We are most grateful to all our passengers and partners who have, nonetheless, continued to give us their strongest support. Thank you for your affirmation and understanding,” said Changi Airport Group Chief, Mr. Hiang. 

Singapore’s Changi International Airport has won over 470 awards since 1981, including 30 ‘Best Airport‘ awards in 2013.

“To win this prestigious award three years in succession is a remarkable achievement for Changi Airport Singapore and it underlines [this Southeast Asia transportation hub’s] popularity amongst air travelers as the World’s Best Airport,” said Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax.

“Changi Airport lives up to its reputation as the World’s Best Airport and rather than dwell on earlier success. The airport continues to innovate and concentrate on making the customer experience in the airport environment the most enjoyable,” Skytrax Chief Plaisted added.

“It is therefore not a surprise to see it named again by global travelers, as the world’s favorite airport. Changi Airport offers today’s airport customers real delights and surprises that are in many instances quite unique,” Mr. Plaisted highlighted.

Images by Changi Airport Group

Science, freedom, beauty, adventure: What more could you ask of life? Aviation combined all the elements I loved. … I began to feel that I lived on a higher plane than the skeptics of the ground; one that was richer because of its very association with the element of danger they dreaded, because it was freer of that earth to which they were bound. In flying I tasted the wine of the gods of which they could know nothing. …” — Charles A. Lindbergh (Jr.), American Aviator (1953)

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Appendix

How Many of America’s Airports Are the World’s 100 Finest Airports for Business Travel in 2015?

Although no U.S.-based airports reached Skytrax’s World’s 10 Best Airports, Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport ranks as America’s Finest Airport for Business Travel in 2015.

Thirteen (13) additional U.S.-based airports appear within the 2015 rankings of the World’s 100 Best Airports, as follows:

#30 Greater Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport (#27 in 2014)

#33 Denver International Airport (#29 in 2014)

#36 San Francisco International Airport (#39 in 2014)

#44 Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (#45 in 2014)

#54 Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (#53 in 2014)

#60 New York John F. Kennedy International Airport (#61 in 2014)

#62 Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport (#54 in 2014)

#86 Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (#67 in 2014)

#88 Boston Logan International Airport (#86 in 2014)

#92 Chicago O’Hare International Airport (#96 in 2014)

#96 Detroit-Wayne County International Airport (#87 in 2014)

#98 Los Angeles International Airport (#102 in 2014)

#99 Raleigh-Durham International Airport (#93 in 2014)

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