Faro Airport has received accolades in two prestigious categories of the 2020 Airports Council International awards. The gateway to the Algarve was named one of the world’s best airports in Europe and also recognised for its pacesetting COVID-19 health measures.
The ACI’s annual Airport Service Quality awards program measures passengers’ satisfaction while they are travelling through an airport. The globally established benchmarking program provides research tools and management information to help airports better understand passengers’ views and what they want from an airport’s products and services, and “an opportunity to celebrate the commitment of airports worldwide to continuously improving the passenger experience”.
Faro was one of five Portuguese airports operated by Vinci Airports that received 2020 “Best Airport” awards in their respective categories (in Faro’s case, five to 15 million passengers per year, in Europe). The others were Lisbon, Porto, Ponta Delgada and Madeira. Faro, Porto, Ponta Delgada and Madeira also won awards for “Best Hygiene Measures by Region”.
Elsewhere, Vinci Airports received recognition for Belgrade Airport in Serbia, Guanacaste Airport in Costa Rica and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the US. The global airport operator and integrator has implemented a campaign of health measures known as “Protecting Each Other”, which last August was certified by Bureau Veritas in France, the United Kingdom and Portugal.
“Vinci Airports was able to quickly adapt its health measures to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says CEO and president Nicolas Notebaert, “while respecting the passenger experience, which is a pillar of our model. Thanks to the diversity of our network, we will continue to anticipate travellers’ expectations and will keep developing innovations that will benefit the quality of service in all our airports.”
The Airports Council International is an association of international airports whose key objective is to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations by fostering cooperation among airports, world aviation organisations and business partners. It aims to make “a significant contribution to providing the traveling public with an air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible”. The ASQ awards highlight the world’s best airports as judged by their customers.
According to the ACI, “The COVID-19 pandemic had a dramatic impact on global passenger traffic in 2020, as well as changing customer perceptions and expectations of the airport experience. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, airports managed to collect ASQ surveys from their customers throughout the year.
“Based on new hygiene-related questions added to the survey questionnaire, ACI has introduced a new award – ‘Best Hygiene Measures by Region’ – of which there are 33 inaugural winners. This award provided airports with a reliable method of gauging customer response to new health measures and recognises airports’ success in responding to the intense focus on hygiene.”
Portugal’s award-winning airport safety measures are complemented by top airline services aimed at consolidating passengers’ confidence in popular tourist regions such as the Algarve.