In what might come as a surprise to most fliers, Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport has been rated as the world number one among airports handling more than 40 million passengers per annum, while Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport has been ranked as the World's Best Airport for customer experience in a survey.
According to the ASQ (Airport Service Quality) 2017 rankings of the Airports Council International (ACI), the country's two biggest airports have beaten Singapore's Changi and Seoul's Incheon airports to be ranked the best in their class.
Last year, South Korea's Seoul Incheon was ranked number one, followed by Delhi, Mumbai, and Singapore in second position and Beijing, Haikou in third position.
ACI is a trade association of 1,953 member airports across 176 countries. As part of its survey on ASQ, views of passengers on 34 key performance indicators are measured. Nearly 74 per cent of the world's 100 busiest airports are part of the ASQ network.
Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a GMR-led consortium, has been adjudged as the best among those airports that fall in the highest category - over 40 million passengers per annum, for the second time.
The airport recently joined the 60-million club and recorded 63.5 million passengers in 2017.
It has surpassed Changi, Incheon and Bangkok airports in terms of passenger growth and is now the 7th busiest airport in Asia and among the top 20 busiest airport across the world, according to a press statement issued by GMR.
"The award demonstrates DIAL's strong focus on operations efficiencies and resilient approach towards service delivery," said DIAL chief executive I Prabhakara Rao.
Mumbai airport operator, GVK-run Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), also welcomed the honour.
"In 2007, when we had taken over the complete operations of the airport, the ASQ score was 3.53 and in 10 years we have got it to hover around 4.99 out of a maximum 5. It is a testimony to the quality service provided during 2017 to over forty six million travellers by the thirty thousand odd airport community members," said G V K Reddy, founder and chairman, GVK.
The major performance indicators for the rankings included check-in, access to airport, security screening, restrooms, restaurants, and stores and other service parameters.
In addition to this, Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has been awarded Best Airport by Size: 5-15 million passengers, and Lucknow's Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport has been announced winner for Best Airport by Size: 2-5 million passengers. Also, Ahmedabad's Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport has been ranked as Best improved Airport in Asia-Pacific region.