Published on : Monday, August 5, 2019
Hamad International Airport recognised as second-best international airport in the world. Hamad International Airport (HIA) has achieved second place in the prestigious award. First receiving this award in 2017, HIA continues to position itself as a leading global aviation hub, with redefined airport experiences for travellers from around the world.
The Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards evaluate airports based upon the direct feedback of their readers who vote for their favourite airport across the globe, upon criteria such as access, check-in, security, restaurants, shopping, and design.
Engr. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at HIA stated: “We are very proud to be recognized by our loyal passengers for the seamless airport experience offered by Hamad International Airport. To be named the World’s Second-Best Airport is a great achievement and testament to HIA’s high international standards. While this is a great recognition, we never rest on our achievements, and constantly evolve to deliver a true unique experience for our passengers.”
Jacqui Gifford, Editor in Chief at Travel and Leisure, added, “For 24 years, our readers have been voting in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. This annual franchise is a global collection of the top hotels, islands, cities, cruise lines, airlines, and more,” says Gifford. “Brands and properties from all over the world—from Peru to Japan, India to Italy, and right here at home in the United States—are recognized by our audience because they deliver on exceptional experiences, rooted in a sense of place.”
HIA has achieved significant milestones within the criteria for which it has been voted as the second best international airport. Passengers have been given autonomy for the check-in process through the airport’s Smart Airport Program which has introduced self-check-in and bag drop kiosks which are biometric enabled. This also makes the check-in process faster, which vastly improves customer experience and allows more passengers to be managed without physical expansion of the check-in facilities.
Within the security criterion, HIA has increased its security capacity for screening in its transfer areas and reduced queuing time, as part of its commitment to providing a seamless transfer experience for passengers and maintaining high standards of security. The airport has also further improved customer service in the transfer security areas, allowing at least 95 per cent of its transfer passengers to queue for under five minutes, which is an industry-leading achievement
HIA’s unique shopping and dining offering spread across 40,000 square meters of combined retail, food and beverage options are also continuously expanding. The most recent addition at the airport is the opening of the Swiss Chocolatier ‘Läderach’ in the terminal, which inaugurated its boutique where chocolate lovers and connoisseurs travelling through HIA can indulge in a variety of high-quality chocolate and confectionery specialities all produced by hand. HIA also saw the opening of the first Del Monte® F&B store in Qatar at the airport, offering passengers a new market catering for the health-conscious travellers.
HIA competed with some of Skytrax’s top 10 airports: Seoul’s Incheon International Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) and Zurich Airport, achieving the second position, thanks to its exceptional state-of-the-art facilities.
HIA’s unceasing efforts have been yielding positive results as the airport was awarded Skytrax’s Fourth Best Airport in the World for 2019, climbing up one place from last year. Classified as a five-star airport, HIA is one of only five airports to achieve this outstanding rank. The airport was also awarded the title of ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the fifth year in a row and ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for the fourth year in a row.
The award-winning airport, in addition to sustaining a seamless passenger journey and advancing its technology, is expanding its terminal to strengthen its ability to scale and compete with leading airports while increasing connectivity for airlines and passengers. The expansion will include retail, dining, first and business lounges in the North Node, hoping to meet the demands of the increasing number of passengers and enhance the comfort and quality of the airport experience.