An Australian airport has been ranked among the top 20 airports in the world as new data reveals how travel hubs at home and abroad have performed in 2023.
Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport scooped 19th place in the Skytrax World Airport Awards and was the only Australian city to place in the top 20.
Singapore Changi, which boasts its own butterfly garden, unsurprisingly took out the top spot.
Brisbane ranked 23rd and Sydney Airport the third best of the Australian airports at 49th in the prestigious awards.
Perth airport trailed behind in 58th place while Adelaide took out the 73rd spot.
Airports are ranked on many factors including terminal signage, language skills of airport staff, ambience and design and choices of bars and restaurants.
Airports in Australia saw a lot of fluctuation in the last year as travellers emerged from the pandemic.
Melbourne’s airport climbed seven places from its previous ranking of 26th to overtake Brisbane and clinch the nation’s top spot.
Tullamarine, which opened in 1970, is known as the second busiest airport in the country, and its T4 terminal was ranked the seventh best low-cost airline terminal.
Melbourne took out the top spot for best airport staff in the Australia-Pacific region, followed by Brisbane then Gold Coast.
Melbourne Airport chief executive Lorie Argus said she was “incredibly proud” of the airport’s achievement.
“We’ve also listened to our travellers and heard what they’ve told us about where we need to improve,” she said.
“For example, we’ve invested more than $40 million upgrading our toilets and rest rooms, which have gone from being one of our biggest cause of complaints to one of our biggest sources of pride.”
These improvements include better family rooms, assistance animal relief areas and gender inclusive rest rooms.
“Currently much of our focus is on Terminal 1, which we believe will be Australia’s best domestic terminal when upgrade works are completed later this year,” Ms Argus said.
“Our aim is to be Australia’s favourite airport destination, and these awards suggest we are heading in the right direction.”
Brisbane had previously been the country’s best airport and the 22nd best airport in the world, but it slipped down a place this year.
Sydney dropped eight spots from its 41st ranking last year while Perth fell three and Adelaide climbed two.
Gold Coast jumped a staggering 27 spots from 81st last year to 54th this year and took out first place for the best regional airport in the Australia-Pacific region.
Queensland Airports Limited chief executive Amelia Evans celebrated Gold Coast Airport’s fifth award as a testament to its staff, airlines and retail partners.
“The recognition that comes with awards at this level not only puts Gold Coast Airport in the spotlight, but it places the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales communities on the world stage,” she said.
“This has come at a particularly exciting time for Gold Coast Airport, with our new international terminal now open and new global connections on the horizon.”
The Gold Coast was trialled by Adelaide’s airport, with Cairns placing fifth, Darwin sixth, Canberra seventh, Hobart eighth and Alice Springs 10th.
Australia’s airport hospitality also performed well on the global stage.
The Pullman at Brisbane Airport was ranked as the 10th best airport hotel in the world, while Stamford Plaza Sydney and Parkroyal Melbourne ranked second and third best in the Australia-Pacific region respectively.
Skytrax, a UK-based consultancy which runs an airline and airport review and ranking system, began its annual Awards in 1999 after launching a global Airport customer satisfaction survey.
More than 500 airports are assessed via customer votes, with other 100 customer nationalities participating in this year’s survey.
This year marks the 12th win for Singapore’s airport since the awards were created.
Changi Airport Group chief executive Lee Seow Hiang said he was “honoured” the airport has been crowned the world’s best for the sixth consecutive year.
“It is a significant achievement for Changi Airport and spurs us to continue to deliver the best passenger experience for all who travel through Changi Airport,” he said.
“This recognition is great encouragement to our airport community, who stood firmly together to battle the challenges of Covid-19 over the past two years.”
Singapore’s airport boasts the country’s tallest slide, a butterfly garden, movie theatres, spas and swimming pools, multiple gardens, and countless bars and restaurants.
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