New York-based travel magazine Travel + Leisure recently published the results from its World’s Best Awards, where its readers ranked the world’s top places and facilities, from cities and islands to hotels, spas and car rental companies.

Taking place between January and May, the World Best Awards’ survey also included the Top International Airports category, which readers voted for despite not being able to travel as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the magazine, readers were asked to weigh in on airports’ access, check-in and security as well as restaurants and bars and design. Travel + Leisure is not the only competition for the world’s best airports. Airport Council International celebrated on the same day the winners of this year’s Airport Service Quality Awards while every year London-based management consultancy firm Skytrax announced the world airline awards.

Here are the winners.


1. Singapore Changi

With a score of 93.45, Singapore Changi was once again crowned as the world’s best airport. According to the magazine, readers valued the airport’s smooth operations as well as the many things that passengers can enjoy – including a vast selection of restaurants, a cinema and an open-air pool.

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“It is unquestionably the best airport in the world, with lots of shopping, dining, and fabulous areas for children,” said one respondent. “It is as good as everyone says it is,” added another. Despite the hard blow it sustained because of the pandemic, in 2020 Changi was crowned the world’s best airport for the eighth consecutive time during the Skytrax awards.

“For Singapore Changi Airport to be voted the World’s Best Airport title for eight consecutive years is a truly remarkable achievement and demonstrates a simply fantastic level of consistency,” commented Skytrax CEO Edward Plaisted at the time.


2. Istanbul Airport

Following closely with 91.7 points, Istanbul Airport took second place. Opened in October 2018, the airport was on the pathway to economic prosperity when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, forcing the hub to set aside long-term projects.

Instead of drowning, the airport managed to weather the Covid-19 storm, becoming the first airport in the world to receive Airport Council International’s Health Accreditation Scheme, renewing it for the second time in July 2021.

As iGA, we have come a long way in terms of health measures by putting extra effort until we saw this optimistic view,” commented iGA Airport CEO Kadri Samsunlu. “Seeing that the steps taken in terms of health measures in Istanbul Airport were later implemented in different industries is the biggest proof of how we excelled at our work.”


3. Incheon International Airport

Totalling a score of 89.15, Seoul’s Incheon International Airport won the bronze place at the awards.

Created in 2001 to connect the South Korean capital with the rest of the region, the airport was built between two islands on an artificial piece of land. Arriving fourth at the 2020 Skytrax airline awards, the airport managed to survive the pandemic, recently recovering a traffic volume of 10,000 travellers per day.

Like Istanbul Airport, the hub received the ACI health accreditation for the second consecutive year.


4. Dubai Airport

Dubai International Airport has for a long time been considered one of the best airports in the whole region, not only by Travel + Leisure readers but also from passengers around the world.

Even though in 2020 Covid-19 operations at Dubai Airport slowed down, resulting in the closure of terminal 1, traffic in the first half of 2021 reached 10.6 million passengers with authorities expecting a strong second half.

“In anticipation of the robust recovery of global air travel, we started the second half on a high note by re-opening Terminal 1 and Concourse D – the home terminal for our 60 international carriers, after 15 months of hibernation to accommodate the seasonal rush of travellers over the summer holidays,” commented Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths.


5. Doha Hamad

This is not the first time that Doha Hamad International Airport has won an aviation prize. At the 2020 Skytrax awards, the hub bagged two prizes, Best Airport Staff and Best Airport in the Middle East.

“Our award for Best Staff in the Middle East and Best Airport in the Middle East will reinforce our resolve to continue our operations in these difficult times with our utmost care to implement all measures to ensure the health and safety of our passengers and employees first,” commented the airport’s COO Eng. Badr Mohammed Al Meer.

After Doha came Tokyo Haneda followed by Hong Kong Airport, Narita, Zurich and Osaka which, with 82.07 points, was crowned the tenth best international airport.