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Airports scoop service awards

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“We are especially pleased because these awards apply the same standards to airports around the world in measuring the opinion of passengers at each airport”

FOUR airports owned and operated by Airports Company South Africa, including the Upington International Airport and the Kimberley Airport, have been named top in their respective categories in the annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards that measure service at more than 390 airports around the world.

The ASQ awards are administered independently by Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association for the world’s airports. The results are based on ACI’s programme for airport service quality that requires consistent performance over 12 months.

Three airports in regional centres featured strongly in the ACI awards for 2019. Kimberley Airport is a second-time recipient of an award in the size category for airports with fewer than two million passengers a year. Also recognised at the top of this category are George Airport and Upington Airport, which was also top in its category the previous year.

King Shaka International Airport was again top among its peers, receiving the ASQ accolade in its category for airports with 5 to 15 million passengers a year. The airport has recently consolidated its annual passenger figures above the 6.2 million mark.

While the awards are based on overall satisfaction, the ASQ programme provides airports with monthly reports on performance against service standards that affect passengers from end to end at an airport. These standards cover airport experiences such as check-in, way-finding, security, passport control, general airport environment, arrival services, access to airport facilities, parking and transport links.

Surveys are done at departure points in both domestic and international terminals.

Airports Company South Africa chief executive officer Mpumi Mpofu said yesterday that it “is wonderful to see that our smaller airports are big on quality, while our colleagues at King Shaka International Airport continue to maintain their high service standards”.

“We are especially pleased because these awards apply the same standards to airports around the world in measuring the opinion of passengers at each airport,” said Mpofu.

“An airport is a very complex place where dozens of internal and external service providers have to collaborate continuously to ensure that passengers get the kind of service they expect. We must therefore also thank these service providers for their contributions at each airport.

“Of course, we don’t always get it 100% right, but we will continue striving to meet the highest global standards of service because making a positive impression on our passengers is what ultimately drives business performance,” Mpofu added.

ACI world director general Angela Gittens pointed out that the Airport Service Quality Awards were the highest possible recognition for airport operators around the world and recognised excellence in customer experience.

“The awards this year have been won by a diverse group of airports from around the world which illustrates the industry-wide commitment to delivering exceptional customer experience,” said Gittens.

“Delivering a better customer experience is an important business strategy in an increasingly competitive airport industry. ACI’s global ASQ programme is the only one that not only recognises excellence but also provides airports with objective measurement and benchmarking to help drive their performance.”

The Airport Service Quality programme is the world’s leading airport customer experience measurement and benchmarking programme. The ASQ Departures programme measures passengers’ satisfaction across 34 key performance indicators.

In 2019, more than half of the world’s 8.8 billion travellers passed through an ASQ-measured airport.