The World’s Top 10 Airports of 2021, voted for by airport customers from across the world during the 2020-2021 World Airport Survey. It’s no doubt the pandemic has an impact but their COVID-19 response was a factor in this year’s survey.
In a year still battered by the coronavirus pandemic, it could be difficult to rate airports. Skytrax, which is an independent airline industry consulting group based in the UK, addressed that issue by creating a second list to specifically call out airports that did a good job of addressing the new health and hygiene protocols.
Expert travelers reviewed over 500 airports based on several factors, including check-in, shopping, immigration, security, cleanliness, terminal comfort and ambiance, choice of bars and restaurants, and airport ease of access. A COVID-19 specific section was also included in the survey. (As a passenger, you can SKYTRAX submit your review as well.)
Here's the 2021 Top 10 Airports in the World.
1. Doha’s Hamad International Airport
It took them the number one spot in this year’s rankings, up to two places from 2020. Home to Qatar Airways, Hamad is the country’s only international airport and offers flights across six continents. It is praised for its cleanliness, comfort, posh boutiques, unique artwork, COVID-19 response, and indoor train that shuttles passengers through the terminal. Hamad is the Official Airport Partner for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and is undergoing an expansion to accommodate 58 million passengers by the event.
If you have a transit time of more than 6 hours you can book a Discover Qatar City Tour from 75 QAR. The guided tour is designed to be an introduction to Doha and includes stops at city highlights such as The Pearl-Qatar, Katara Cultural Village, Souq Waqif, and the Museum of Islamic Art.
2. Tokyo Haneda International AirportAdd Your Heading Text Here
One of the world’s busiest airports and is Japan’s busiest airport being located less than 30 minutes south of central Tokyo. The airport has three terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and International Terminal 3.
Tokyo Haneda Airport is Certified as a 5-Star Airport for airport facilities, terminal comfort and cleanliness, shopping, food & beverages, staff service, and security/immigration.
Tokyo Haneda Airport provides very high standards of facilities and staff service efficiency across all front line areas, and the airport company continues to introduce changes and improvements. The airport has excellent transportation links to downtown Tokyo. Ranked as one of the World’s Best Airports, Terminal 2 has been expanded to also offer international flights for ANA.
3. Singapore Changi Airport
They ended its eight-year rein after falling to number three in the 2021 top 10 list. The airport has been consistently named one of the cleanest and most entertaining airports globally, hosting a movie theater and butterfly garden, though both are closed due to the pandemic. Changi is Singapore’s primary air transport center and one of the largest in Asia. It is an operating base for Singapore Airlines, Singapore Airlines Cargo, Scoot, Jetstar Asia Airways, and BOC Aviation.
-Top 10 Airport in the World-
4. Incheon International Airport
The largest airport in South Korea and one of the busiest airports in the world. It is a former winner of the Airport of the Year title at the World Airport Awards. is Certified as a 5-Star Airport for facilities, comfort, cleanliness, shopping, food & beverages, staff service, and security/immigration.
The opening of Terminal 2 at Incheon Airport has greatly alleviated passenger density in Terminal 1. T2 provides superb architecture, technology, and passenger comfort. Both terminals offer excellent transfer processes. ICN artfully incorporates a number of cultural elements into the passenger journey. Public transport requires more guidance, and international food options could be expanded in the terminals.
5. Tokyo Narita Airport
One of the top 10 airport in the world is Tokyo’s Narita International Airport is the second Japanese airport to make the top 10 list at number five. Narita is one of Tokyo’s primary airports and is the busiest in the country by international passenger traffic. It serves as a hub for Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Nippon Cargo Airlines, and low-cost carriers Peach and Jetstar Japan.
Despite its title of “Tokyo Narita Airport,” or sometimes just “Narita Airport,” it is so far from Japan’s capital (60 kilometers east of Tokyo, to be exact), you might wonder how to make your way from out of the surrounding fields to begin your Japan adventure. Thankfully, Tokyo Narita International Airport is as modern as you’d expect a Japanese airport to be. Once you arrive, you’ll be able to connect to free wi-fi and get your hands on pocket wi-fi, SIM cards, and prepaid phones.
6. Munich International Airport
Ah-oh! They fell one spot to number six in 2021. The airport is the second-busiest airport by passenger traffic in Germany behind Frankfurt and carried 47.9 million passengers in 2019. Munich serves as a hub for Lufthansa and its subsidiaries Lufthansa CityLine, Air Dolomiti, and Eurowings. It also acts as a base for Condor and TUI fly Deutschland.
To ensure that passengers and guests travel safely and stay comfortably, Munich Airport has implemented a wide range of safety measures. Covid-19 centers have also been set up at the airport by the Bavarian Government. All departures and arrivals were shifted to Terminal 2. Passengers departing from high-risk, high incidence, or virus-variant areas are required to take special precautions.
7. Zurich Airport
Zurich Airport improved its ranking by four spots to make the top 10 this year. The airport is the largest international airport in Switzerland and connects travelers to the city and, via ground transport links, many other parts of the country. It serves as a primary hub for Swiss International Air Lines and its sister company Edelweiss Air.
At Zurich Airport, visitors can immerse themselves in the aeronautical ambiance and the urge to travel as they sit in the Upperdeck restaurant, sipping a refreshing cocktail and watching the world go by.
Meanwhile, The Circle invites guests to enjoy a relaxed stroll. Modeled on Zurich’s Old Town, visitors can meander from store to store or linger in one of the inviting restaurants. Beautifully designed seating areas and the Circle Park are also ideal for taking a break.
8. London Heathrow Airport
London’s Heathrow Airport jumped four spots to make the top 10 list in 2021. Located on the west side of the city, the airport is the main international gateway to London and has consistently been one of the busiest airports in Europe year over year. Heathrow serves over 180 airports in 90 countries and offers travelers access to nearly every corner of the globe. It is home to British Airways and is a main operating base for airlines like Virgin Atlantic, KLM, Lufthansa, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines.
It’s virtually impossible to go hungry at Heathrow. Throughout the five terminals you will find many European cafes, traditional British pubs, and international chain eateries, many of which are open 24 hours. The airport also offers a few exceptionally fine restaurants, such as The Fortnum & Mason Bar and Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food. Dining is just one of many ways to while away a layover at LHR. Every terminal is fitted with a duty-free shop and a well curated selection of luxury retailers, including some you won’t find in every other airport around the world, such as Harrods and The Harry Potter Shop. Not into retail therapy? Check out the fine art on display at the T5 Gallery, get a mani-pedi at one of the on-site spas, or simply unwind in the peaceful surrounds of a premium lounge, even if you aren’t travelling first class; day passes are available for purchase in advance or at the door.
9. Kansai International Airport
It opened in 1994, and has become an important international hub for Japan, providing one of the largest networks for both domestic and international routes with 24 hour operations. It was built on an artificial island in Osaka Bay, south of Osaka, Japan. With more than 31.9 million passengers in 2019, the airport is the gateway to the Kansai region, in the West of Japan. The airport provides one of the largest networks for both domestic and international routes with complete 24-hours operations. Driven by the dynamism of the tourism sector in Japan, the airport also benefits from the rise of low-cost airlines, of which it is the main platform in the region.
Kansai International Airport (KIA) is pushing forward with an expansion programme that includes the construction of two new runways and a passenger terminal off the existing airport island. A new runway has already been constructed and plans to construct one more runway and an additional terminal building are being considered.
10. Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong Airport is ranked fifth in the annual World’s Best Airport list in 2019 (and the World’s Best Airport Immigration Service and the Best Airport for Dining if you don’t mind us tooting our own horn). Hong Kong International Airport is a marvel to look at and to visit. There’s really no better place to be if your flight is delayed, you have a long layover, or if you’re the type of flyer who likes to arrive hours in advance of boarding. Aside from HKG’s beautiful architecture and some great views of planes on the runway, there’s plenty of other entertainment to be found at Chek Lap Kok. From amazing restaurants to fancy lounges and indoor sports club to an IMAX theatre, these are the best things to do at Hong Kong Airport.
So there you go folks. That’s the best 2021 top 10 airport in the world. Hope this pandemic will be over. And hoping travel will be back soon.. Some countries are hitting the road again, and even if they’re not already traveling, many are ready to start booking future trips.