World’s Best Airports of 2022 Revealed

The world’s best airports for 2022 have been revealed by Skytrax amongst other award-winning categories. The pandemic impacted travel and saw the world halt and airports were ghost towns. Since the reduced COVID-19 restrictions and the rise in travellers, airports are busier than ever with the upheaval in travel again.

The annual awards by Skytrax included a Best Airport Group COVID-19 Excellence Award for 2022. This is in recognition of the airports that maintained the highest level of COVID-19 safety measures. The winner of this category was Aena – the Spanish-owned airport management company, which currently manages 61 airports in Spain and abroad.

The World’s Best 3 Airports Countdown…

3. Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)

Changi Singapore Airport 40 metre indoor waterfall
Changi Airport Jewel featuring a 40-metre waterfall, awarded the 3rd best airport in the world 2022 © Matteo Morando

Awarded the third best airport in the world for the second year in a row, Changi Airport has lost its previous 8-year-long streak at number one. Before the pandemic, SIN held a near decade-long spot at the best airport in the world, and rightly so.

Changi Airport is an attraction in itself, with a rooftop pool, cactus and butterfly gardens where travellers can watch planes take off and get some fresh air. Not to mention the Jewel, featuring the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at 40 meters with a canopy bridge, mazes and a range of retailers.

2. Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)

Tokyo Haneda Airport awarded 2nd best airport
Tokyo Haneda Airport awarded 2nd best airport in the world 2022 © Japan Rail Pass

Crowned second place in the world is Tokyo Haneda Airport, Japan. The airport topped four other categories awarded – the World’s Cleanest Airport, the World’s Best Domestic Airport, the Best Airport in Asia and the Best Airport PRM & Accessible Facilities for 2022.

Tokyo Henada Airport Starry Cafe
Enjoy a drink under the stars in Tokyo International Airport © Tiat

Making the airport stand out – apart from the modern design, excellent cleanliness and traditional Japanese food – is the unique Starry Cafe, featuring a planetarium dome. The dome is covered in over 40 million ‘stars’, and attached is a cafe, allowing travellers to grab a star-themed drink and a bite to eat as they gaze up at the starry sky.

HND has recreated the architecture of the old streets of Japan from the 17th century. Edo Koji in the airport has passengers enjoying traditional Japanese goods, dining and ambience. Giving passengers a slice of traditional Japan, even if flyers are just stopping over.

1. Hamad International Airport (HIA)

Lamp Bear at Hamad International Airport
The Best Airport in the World 2022 is awarded to Hamad International Airport © Business Insider

The HIA airport in Doha, the capital city of Qatar has been crowned the Best Airport In The World for the second year in a row. HIA which opened in 2014, has been identified as the most luxurious airport in the world. An airport on the brink of Arabia may not be what people expect to be a hub of arts and culture, but that is exactly what it is. The airport features over 20 permanent art installations, like “Lamp Bear” – the large yellow teddy bear under a lamp in the middle of the departure lounge.

HIA has seen over 7.14 million passengers in the first quarter of this year alone. Set to see over 30 million passengers every year and over 360,000 flights, is also the airport partner for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November. HIA beat 550 other global airports in the varying ranking indicators – check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security, immigration, and departure. Badr Al-Meer, the Chief Operating Officer at HIA, said:

“We are thrilled that Qatar’s main gateway to the world has once again been named the world`s best airport at the SKYTRAX 2022 World Airport Awards – adding another milestone achievement to HIA’s history. Our commitment and service excellence continues to be a benchmark in the aviation industry”

How aviation is bouncing back in a post-pandemic world

As the world is recovering after the pandemic and borders are opened, the aviation industry has been climbing back. Domestic and international travellers have been increasing each year since COVID-19 shut borders.

“With barriers to travel coming down in most places, we are seeing the long-expected surge in pent-up demand finally being realized,” – IATA Director General Willie Walsh said.

After many lost their jobs in aviation when COVID-19 rolled around, there has been a demand for them back again as the industry is creeping closer to pre-pandemic levels of activity.

“Unfortunately, we are also seeing long delays at many airports with insufficient resources to handle the growing numbers. This must be addressed urgently to avoid frustrating consumer enthusiasm for air travel.” – IATA Director General Willie Walsh said.

In June 2022 the global travelling demand reveals revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) grew 76.2 per cent year-on-year (YoY), showing that the aviation industry is recovering strongly from the pandemic and RPKs have risen to 70.8% of pre-pandemic 2019 levels. Compared with June 2019, the global PRKs are 20 per cent lower.

Chart of June 2022 RPKs
Chart of global RPKs shows global aviation industry is recovering after the pandemic © IATA

The net industry losses in 2022 are expected to reduce to $11.6 billion, after the 2021 loss of $51.8 billion. The total industry losses since the pandemic are expected to reach $201 billion.

Recovery and growth are the two words to describe the aviation industry since the start of the pandemic. The travel and tourism industry generates 10.4 per cent of the global GDP and it is crucial to get the aviation industry back on track.

The World Travel and Tourism Council has urged governments to continue focusing on the vaccine and booster rollout and to enhance international travel easiness with digital solutions to make international travel fast, safe and simple.

What is your favourite airport and do you agree with the top 3? Comment below.

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