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Qatar replaces Singapore as ‘world’s best airport’ 

August 11, 2021 at 3:41 pm

Qatar’s Hamad International Airport near Doha on 11 January 2021 [KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images]

Qatar’s Doha Hamad International Airport has been recognised as the World’s Best Airport at this year’s Skytrax World Airport Awards. Doha replaces Singapore’s Changi Airport at the top of the rankings.

The awards are based on voting by passengers between August last year and last month. Some took into consideration pre-pandemic experiences while others judged the airport on more recent travels.

“As travel hubs worldwide have been impacted by the pandemic, Hamad International Airport was undeterred by the global travel disruptions and continued with its expansion plans while introducing additional airport health and safety standards,” said Edward Plaisted of Skytrax. “As the Official Airport Partner for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 we wish Hamad International Airport every success in helping to host such a major event.”

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Changi Airport, which slipped to third place in the rankings, had held top spot for almost a decade. Nevertheless, it still won the award for World’s Best Airport Staff and Best Airport Staff in Asia.

Japan’s Tokyo Haneda Airport was in global second place and won Best Airport in Asia, World’s Best Domestic Airport and the World’s Best Airport Cleanliness Award. Turkey’s Istanbul Airport was declared to be the most improved airport, rising from number 102 in last year’s list, to seventeenth in this year’s awards.

Hamad International Airport is the hub for Qatar’s flagship Qatar Airways, which last month won the Airline Excellence Awards in Airline of the Year ratings compiled by It replaced previous holder Air New Zealand, which dominated the list six times over the past few years.

Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief of, was quoted by CNN Travel as saying that it was Qatar Airways’ handling of the coronavirus pandemic that sealed the deal. “Qatar Airways has always figured highly in our rankings, winning various awards such as Best Business Class, but it was the airline’s commitment to keeping its route network largely open that attracted the judges’ praise — and votes.”

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