The 15 best airports in the world, ranked

Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock.comSingapore’s Changi Airport.
  • Skytrax announced the winner of its annual World Airport Awards on Wednesday at the Passenger Terminal Expo in London.
  • Singapore’sChangi Airport was named the world’s best airport for the seventh consecutive year.
  • It’s one of the busiest hubs in Asia and home to Singapore Airlines.
  • Airports from Asia and Europe dominated the top 15 spots.

Skytrax announced the winner of its annual World Airport Awards on Wednesday at the Passenger Terminal Expo in London.

The UK-based international air transport rating agency named gave Singapore’s Changi Airport the top prize for the seventh consecutive year. This marks another clean sweep for the Southeast Asian city-state, as Changi Airport-based Singapore Airlines is the Skytrax airline of the year.

“Changi Airport is honored to again be named World’s Best Airport,” Lee Seow Hiang, Changi Airport Group CEO, said in a statement. “We thank our passengers for their continued support. Their vote of confidence motivates us in our pursuit of service excellence and pushes us to continue redefining what an airport can be.”

In the same statement, Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted said that “to be voted the World’s Best Airport for the seventh consecutive year is a truly fabulous achievement for Changi Airport, and this award continues to underline the airport’s popularity with international air travellers.”

Changi is one of Southeast Asia’s largest transit hubs and a major cog in Singapore’s bustling economy.

The facility is world famous for its beautiful architecture, efficient operation, luxurious amenities, and plentiful dining and shopping options.

Read more: The 20 best airlines in the world, ranked

Asia again dominated the top of the ranking, taking the top six spots. European airports also performed well taking seven of the top 15 spots. No airports from North America, South America, Australia, or Africa made it into the top 15.

The highest-ranking US airports are Denver International, in 32nd position, followed by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, at 36.

The Skytrax annual rankings are based on the impressions of millions of flyers from over 100 countries. More than 550 airports were included in the survey, which covers 39 service and performance parameters, including facility comfort, the location of bathrooms, and the language skills of the airport staff.

Here’s a closer look at the other airports that made it to the top of the prestigious Skytrax list:


15. Copenhagen Airport (CPH)

Eugenio Marongiu / Shutterstock.com

Yearly passengers: 30.3 million

Previous rank: 19

Why it’s awesome: Copenhagen is one of the busiest hubs in Northern Europe and a major base of operations for Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Skytrax reviewers lauded the airport for its clearly placed signs and the efficient, though sometimes crowded, facilities.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2018, provided by Copenhagen Airport.


14. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)

Alexandre Rotenberg / Shutterstock.com

Yearly passengers: 71.1 million

Previous rank: 12

Why it’s awesome: Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe and a hub for KLM and Transavia.

Opened in 1916, Schiphol is noted for its wide variety of leisure activities, and it has a library in which flyers can cosy up with a good book while waiting for their flights.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2018, provided by Airports Council International.


13. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE)

NavinTar / Shutterstock.com

Yearly passengers: 42.3 million

Previous rank: 15

Why it’s awesome: Located just outside of the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, Taoyuan International is the largest airport in Taiwan. The airport is the home base for both China Airlines and EVA Air.

Skytrax reviewers praised the airport for its polite service, clean environment, and speedy immigration lines. Taoyuan was also once home to Taiwan’s aviation museum, but the museum was shut down earlier this year to make way for airport expansion.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2016, provided by Taoyuan International Airport.


12. Frankfurt Airport (FRA)

Frankfurt Airport

Yearly passengers: 69.5 million

Previous rank: 10

Why it’s awesome: Frankfurt Airport is the fourth-busiest airport in Europe and one of the most important transit hubs in the world. FRA is home base to Lufthansa and its fleet of nearly 300 jets.

Skytrax reviewers praised the airport for the ease of transit between terminals and the abundant shopping and dining options. Some, however, have complained of lengthy lines at immigration.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2018, provided by Airports Council International.


11. Kansai International Airport (KIX)

EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Yearly passengers: 28.9 million

Previous rank: 13

Why it’s awesome: Located on an artificial island in the Osaka Bay, Kansai International is a major hub for ANA, Japan Airlines, and Jetstar Japan.

Reviewers on Skytrax praised Kansai for its modern architecture, clean facilities, and helpful staff. The airport also boasts a Sky View observation deck that affords passengers spectacular views of incoming and outgoing flights.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2018, provided by Kansai International Airport.


10. Zurich Airport (ZRH)

Yearly passengers: 29.4 million

Previous rank: 9

Why it’s awesome: Just eight miles from the heart of Zurich, the airport serves as the home base for Swiss International Air Lines and as a hub linking Switzerland’s largest city with the rest of the country.

For passengers with an extended layover, Zurich Airport offers bicycle and inline-skate rentals and excursions to the Swiss Museum of Transport Lucerne.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2017, provided by Zurich Airport.


9. Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)

Lon U / Shutterstock.com

Yearly passengers: 42.6 million

Previous rank: 11

Why it’s awesome: Narita is the first of the two Tokyo airports to appear on the list. Located 35 miles outside of the Japanese capital, Narita handles most of the international traffic going in and out of the city. The airport serves as a major hub for All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines.

Skytrax reviewers lauded the airport for its efficient and friendly staff, clean facilities, and abundant dining options.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2018, provided by Narita International Airport.


8. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

Heathrow Airport

Yearly passengers: 80.1 million

Previous rank: 8

Why it’s awesome: Heathrow is the world’s seventh-busiest airport and the largest of the five primary airports serving London.

Heathrow is in the midst of a major renovation with the addition of a new Terminal 2 building. Its 10-year-old Terminal 5 building was named the best airport terminal in the world by Skytrax.

Heathrow serves as the main hub for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2016, provided by Airports Council International.


7. Munich Airport (MUC)

Yearly passengers: 46.3 million

Previous rank: 6

Why it’s awesome: Located northeast of downtown Munich, MUC is one of the busiest airports in Europe and the second-busiest in Germany, after Frankfurt.

Munich serves as a major hub for Lufthansa and it features airy, glass-heavy architecture. A nearby visitors’ park features mini golf and a display of historic aircraft.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2018, provided by Munich Airport.


6. Chubu Centrair international Airport (NGO)

TungCheung / Shutterstock.com

Yearly passengers: 9.8 million

Previous rank: 7

Why it’s awesome: Built on an artificial island in the middle of Ise Bay near the city of Nagoya, Centrair- also known as Central Japan International Airport – is a focus city for Japan Airlines and ANA.

Centrair holds the distinction as the best regional airport in the world.

It has a 1,000-foot sky deck where passengers can watch ships sail into the Port of Nagoya. There’s also a traditional Japanese bathhouse, where you can have a relaxing soak while watching the sunset over the bay.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2018, provided by Chubu Centrair International Airport.


5. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)

saiko3p / Shutterstock.com

Yearly passengers: 74.5 million

Previous rank: 4

Why it’s awesome: Built on an artificial island off the coast of Hong Kong, HKG has become one of the most popular facilities in the world since it opened in 1998.

One of the busiest airports in Asia, Hong Kong International serves as the home to Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, HK Express, and Cathay Dragon.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2018, provided by Airports Council International.


4. Hamad International Airport (DOH)

Hamad International Airport

Yearly passengers: 34.5 million

Previous rank: 5

Why it’s awesome: Hamad International opened for business in 2014 and is now home to Qatar Airways.

The airport and its two terminals sit on 5,400 acres of land and cost $US16 billion to construct. Skytrax describes the facility as “the most architecturally significant terminal complex in the world, as well as being the most luxurious.”

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2018, provided by Hamad International Airport.


3. Incheon International Airport (ICN)

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

Yearly passengers: 68.4 million

Previous rank: 2

Why it’s awesome: Incheon maintains its place as one of the world’s elite airports with a third-place finish. Located on an island just outside of the South Korean capital, Incheon is home base to Korean Air and is the 16th-busiest airport in the world. It opened in 2001.

Incheon’s highly regarded facilities feature an array of shopping and dining options, in addition to a bevy of cultural performances. The airport even has a Korean culture museum.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2018, provided by Airport Council International.


2. Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND)

Yearly passengers: 87.1 million

Previous rank: 3

Why it’s awesome: Haneda is one of two major international airports that serve the Tokyo area. Located a few miles from the heart of the Japanese capital, Haneda has proved to be a popular port of entry for business travellers and tourists.

The world’s fourth-busiest airport, Haneda is known for its service efficiency, cleanliness, and shopping.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2018, provided by Airports Council International.


1. Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN)

Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock.com

Yearly passengers: 65.6 million

Previous rank: 1

Why it’s awesome: For the seventh year in a row, Changi takes the crown as the world’s best airport. Changi serves as home to Singapore Airlines, Silkair, and Tigerair, and it’s the 19th-busiest airport in the world.

The Singaporean airport has received praise from flyers for its beautiful architecture, efficient operation, luxurious amenities, and dining and shopping options.

Flyers passing through are treated to movie theatres, a multimedia entertainment deck, spas, and a wild corkscrew slide.

Source: Skytrax World Airport Awards. Yearly passenger figure is for 2018, Airports Council International.

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