For the second year in a row, Skytrax has ranked Qatar’s airport the best in the region.
This year, Hamad International Airport also became the first in the Middle East to be included in Skytrax’s top 10 best airports in the world listing, at number 10.
When it opened in 2014, HIA was ranked 75th, and last year, moved up to 22nd place in the Skytrax rankings.
Other top-ranked airports included Singapore’s Changi Airport, South Korea’s Incheon International and Munich Airport.
In a statement this week, HIA’s Chief Operating Officer Badr Mohammed Al Meer said the award comes as the airport crosses the 30 million passenger threshold and opens its new D and E concourses.
“We pledge to continue improving our infrastructure and delivering an exceptional travel experience to all our passengers, who have graciously given us their vote of confidence.”
Skytrax airport rankings are drawn from customer nominations from around the world, and airports are evaluated based on 39 key performance indicators, including check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration.
Though the airport ranked highly in many areas, HIA’s immigration lines have been a source of great frustration for many travelers over the past several months.
In January, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker – whose airline manages the airport – attributed the delays to staff shortages. He added that the carrier and the Ministry of Interior – whose staff man the immigration desks – were “trying to resolve the issue as a team.”
Meanwhile, HIA has already exceeded its planned capacity of 30 million passengers annually.
H.E. Mr. Al Baker shares photos of the new extensions of the @HIAQatar that will also include a park #NYTAFT pic.twitter.com/nNrZfYQfYj
— Al Mayassa Al Thani (@almayassahamad) March 15, 2016
Work is under way to double the passenger terminal in size to accommodate up to 53 million passengers, but those plans will not be completed until at least 2020.
That said, HIA appears to becoming a favorite among many passengers when compared to its regional competition.
Earlier this month, HIA tied for second place with Abu Dhabi’s airport as being among the best airports in the Middle East, according to the annual Airport Service Quality Awards (ASQ), which are based on the results of passenger satisfaction surveys.