Athens International Airport (AIA) is among the winners of the Best Airport Awards 2021 by ACI Europe, an annual event organized to recognise excellence and outstanding achievement across the entire portfolio of airport activities.
The Best Airport Awards winners were announced on the sidelines of the 31st ACI Europe Annual Congress and General Assembly that took place in Geneva on October 26.
This year’s 17th edition of the celebrated accolades was held with a particular focus on the many ways in which airports are not only responding but innovating during the Covid-19 pandemic, while focusing on the airport industry’s sustainability goals.
Airports in this section are divided into five groups according to 2019 passenger traffic.
AIA wins in the “25-40 Million Passengers” category
Athens Airport was announced the winner in the “25-40 million passengers” category.
“The busiest airport in Greece won the judges over by producing a plan for recovery that focuses on improving customer and passenger experience through the implementation of the Greek concept of philoxenia or hospitality,” ACI Europe said in an announcement.
The judges particularly liked the way Athens Airport embraces AI and virtual reality (such as measuring passengers’ emotional engagement, offering a virtual assistant and 3D virtual airport tours) in its bid to bring passenger experience to the next level.
The judging panel also highlighted the airport’s continued carbon management prowess, with Airport Carbon Accreditation Level 3+ upheld in spite of the ongoing crisis.
Furthermore, Athens Airport is not only committed to achieve Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2025, but also to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, the airport’s efforts to increase the use of renewable energy at the airport was praised.
Lisbon Airport was highly commended in the “25-40 million passengers” category.
The Best Airport Award winners in the other four passengers categories are the following:
– Under 5 Million Passengers
This year’s award in the “under 5 million passenger” category went to Romania’s Cluj Avram Iancu International Airport for its unswerving focus on safeguarding jobs throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
Toulon-Hyères Airport was highly commended in this category.
– 5-10 Million Passengers
The winner of the “5-10 million passenger” category was Falcone Borsellino Palermo Airport.
Milan Linate Airport was highly commended in this category.
– 10-25 Million Passengers
The winner of the “10-25 million passenger” category is Vnukovo International Airport.
Porto Airport was highly commended in this category.
– Over 40 Million Passengers
iGA Istanbul Grand Airport won the 2021 award in the ‘over 40 million passenger’ category, in recognition of its leadership position among the continent’s hubs.
Barcelona and Madrid Airports were highly commended for this award.
The Best Airport Awards 2021 portfolio includes accolades in the following key areas: Eco-Innovation (winner: Stockholm Arlanda Airport), Accessible Airport (winner: Istanbul Grand Airport) and Digital Transformation (winner: Aeroporti di Roma S.p.A., the operator of Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino airports).
ACI Europe’s World Business Partner award was given to Tine Haas, Principal at Dornier Consulting International; and Special Recognition Award was given to Marco Verga, Director People and Organisation Development, Aeroporto G. Marconi di Bologna S.p.A.
ACI Europe is the European region of Airports Council International, the worldwide professional association of airport operators. ACI Europe represents over 500 airports in 46 European countries.