All Nigerian airports -local and international are missing from the list of top 100 airports around the world, LEADERSHIP has learnt.
Airports are ranked by passengers on the basis of its ease, comfort and top-notch food and drink options.
But, despite the federal government’s spending of $500million Chinese loan to build a state of the art terminals in the Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Kano and Abuja airports, Nigeria still missing from the list of top 100 airports ranking.
The loan deal signed in 2013 and the airport terminals are scheduled for completion in 2015 but, except for the terminals in Abuja and Port Harcourt that have since been completed, those of Lagos and Kano are still in the works.
However, despite this huge spending, none of the two completed airports are ranked by SKYTRAX, organiser of annual ranking of the world’s best airports at the World Airport Awards.
According to the top 100 airports award for 2021, voted by air travellers around the world in the 2020/2021 World Airport Survey, none of Nigerian airports were mentioned as the best while only two airports from Africa, Cape Town and Johannesburg -made the list.
The World Airport Awards are voted for by customers in a global airport satisfaction survey conducted from August 2020 until July 2021.
According to the organisers, Doha’s Hamad International Airport, was awarded with the number one spot in 2021 in the “World’s Best Airport” category.
Doha’s ascendance coincides with hard work from its flagship airline, Qatar Airways. The Qatari government also invested heavily in both national carrier and its airport, this however, is the spectacular results.
Travelers on Qatar Airways who have a connecting flight at HIA enjoy free city tours, gratis accommodation and food (depending on the length of the layover) and a VIP transfer service where airline employees meet visitors as they de-plane and guide them seamlessly through the airport and onto their connecting flight.
Airports in Europe and Asia dominated the rest of the 2021 list. Japan was voted best-rated country overall, with three airports in the top 10, including both of Tokyo’s airports (Narita and Haneda).
The top 10 world’s best airports according to the world airports survey are, Hamad International Airport; Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND); Singapore Changi Airport; Incheon International Airport and Tokyo Narita Airport.
Others are Munich Airport; Zurich Airport; London Heathrow Airport; Kansai International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP, a member, Aviation Round Table, Olumide Ohunayo said passengers convenience and safety is key, saying, there is need to develop and work on in all the nation’s international airports.
According to him, this isn’t the first time Nigeria is missing from the list, saying, the nation must fight back to get itself back into reckoning against the next ranking.
He said: “Nigeria is missing from the 100 airports, and its now our responsibility to fight back and get ourselves into reckoning and this is not the first time we are missing. We are in a rebuilding process and what has happened eight years after we accessed Chinese loan to build terminals?”.
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He continued, “the terminals are still not ready except for Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Lagos is yet to be completed because somewhere along the line, designs were changed and that has delayed the airport and building an airport has gone beyond terminal buildings.
“There are some other things like the ambience and what links does it have with other means of transportation and link with other terminals and ability to have transit passengers which are not existing in any of our international airports.
“With absence of all this, one cannot be among the top 100, passengers convenience and safety is key and that is where we need to develop and work on in all our international airports.”
Also speaking to LEADERSHIP, the managing partner, Aglow Aviation Support Services Limited, Tayo Ojuri, said absence of basic amenities like in-terminal hotel services, transit flight among others determine airports being make an alternative.
He said: “in ranking airports, you look at passengers facilitation which we are not their, in convenience and ambience we are not their. Our airports is more of origin and destination, connecting flight also don’t have also on the ease of doing business, the government regulatory agencies are not there.”
“Apart from food, we don’t have in -terminal hotels and the one being built by former minister, Stella Odua has been abandoned and that is not to our own advantage.
“So, there should be facility of meeter and the agregator, all this count like we have in Singapore, Qatar arports. All this make the airport an alternative. If we improve on this, we will get this award on one or two years,” he advised.