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Hong Kong International Airport named the World's Best Airport in the 2008 World Airport Awards.

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LONDON, 14th July 2008 : Hong Kong International Airport has been named Best Airport in the world, in the passenger survey results released today by Skytrax.

"We congratulate Hong Kong for their repeated success in winning the World's best Airport title" said Skytrax CEO, Mr Edward Plaisted. "In recent years, the whole air travel experience has become much more focussed on the time customers spend in the airport environment, and Hong Kong has established itself as a clear passenger favourite in this respect."

"The World Airport Survey evaluates a broad spectrum of product and service touchpoints across the airport experience, covering a wide spectrum of passenger types. Hong Kong was particularly notable for gaining highest satisfaction ratings in such a diverse market. Like any other business, an airport is striving to deliver world-class standards that will make a customer want to use it again, and achieving this level of loyalty requires the highest levels of quality consistency - something where Hong Kong was singled out again and again during the survey."

"Over the last 10 years, the Skytrax World Airport Awards have become recognised as the trusted, global symbol of quality for airports," said Edward Plaisted. "Our survey participants represent the most experienced, diverse and discerning travellers in the marketplace, and airports throughout the world recognize the inherent value that comes with their endorsement."

The 2006 title winner, Singapore Changi Airport, is ranked 2nd in the 2008 World Airport Awards, with Seoul Incheon Airport in 3rd, and KLIA Kuala Lumpur moving into 4th place.

"We again saw a very tight finish to this 2007/8 passenger survey, with very close margins seen between the World's Top 3 airports. The opening of the new Terminal 3 at Singapore Changi was clearly visible from results during the survey, with customer satisfaction levels showing marked increases for this airport over the period it was included. We have yet to see what impact the new Concourse Terminal will have upon passenger ratings for Seoul Incheon Airport, with this being too late to have any impact on these 2008 results" said Plaisted.

"What was notable from this survey is that customers are becoming much more discerning about airport standards and facilities available to them, be they travelling for business or leisure. This is something that will continue to grow as the strength and importance of the three major airline alliances moves to a new level. Indeed, we must soon be looking at a time when our Survey introduces a new category to determine Best Airports according to the standards of the individual airline alliances!"

"Whilst airport operators increase the visibility of signs to warn passengers against taking out their grievances on immigration or security officers, these two areas still tend to be the biggest cause of customer discontent across the airport experience. It is not the actual processes, but occasional poor resource management that can destroy all other aspects of the airport experience. Easy transportation, quick check-in, good shopping and dining facilities, clean terminal areas - all the positives can easily be undone when confronted by a 20 mins security queue, especially if one also finds that only half the security facilities are operational" added Plaisted.

"On a positive note this year, we did find total customer satisfaction rankings for many airports across the world have improved in the 2007/8 period, with passengers reporting the customer service experience as improved. Looking ahead, there is no doubt the severe financial crisis affecting the world airline industry will bring a rash of operational difficulties, cancelled/consolidated flights, and more airlines going under. In turn, this will put pressure on airports being able to react to and cope with the pressure points as they arise."

Munich Airport is again the winner of Best Airport in Europe title, and also ranked 5th in the world - out of more than 190 airports. San Francisco was named Best Airport North America, ahead of Vancouver (2nd) and Dallas/Fort Worth in 3rd position for the region.

In the Middle East passengers have to wait awhile for airport improvements, with the new airports yet to open in Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi. In the meantime, Best Airport for the region is Tel Aviv (1st), Bahrain (2nd) and Muscat (3rd).

Best Airport in Africa is Cape Town, which for the first time has entered the World's Top 10 Airports in 10th position, with Johannesburg ranked 2nd in Africa, ahead of Addis Ababa in 3rd place.


The World Airport Survey is conducted by UK-based aviation research organisation, Skytrax, with more than 8.2 million questionnaires completed by passengers across the world, during the 10 month survey period.

Passenger interviews include a detailed appraisal for more than 40 categories of product and service quality from check-in to departure, from arrivals to baggage collection - including terminal cleanliness, staff efficiency, staff courtesy, terminal signage, security processing, immigration and customers, walking distances, as well as features like shopping, dining options, internet services.

Peter Miller (Skytrax, VP Marketing) said .......  "we see it as critical to carry out the survey as a 'post' travel experience, rather than on-the-spot passenger interviews during their time in the airport. Skytrax expertise in carrying out airline passenger surveys over the past 20 years has shown that a variety of factors (eg. queuing, stress points in the airport) can result in on-the-spot interview techniques delivering skewed final results. Our primary interest is to determine how truly satisfied passengers are with airport standards and processes ... and these levels of satisfaction can be measured much more accurately when one asking a customer to reflect back on their personal airport experience and perceptions. It is the customer's 'post-travel' sentiments that determine their longer term loyalty to an airline, airport etc, and on-the-spot interviews can become too restricted and skewed by perhaps just 1 good or bad experience."



14th July 2008

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Established in 1989, SKYTRAX are the leading Quality advisors to world airlines and airports. Skytrax operate the Airline Star Ranking and Quality Certified Airline programmes.

Press and Media enquiries should be directed to:

Mr Peter Miller
Director Marketing - SKYTRAX
Email :  miller@airlinequality.com




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