The Mumbai airport has ranked fourth in world, beating foreign airports such as San Francisco and Zurich, for offering best quality services in the category of airports handling 1.5 crore to 2.5 crore passengers per year.
The ranking was awarded by the Airport Council International (ACI), an independent global agency that conducts quality audits on airports.
This also makes the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport the best airport in India in the particular category. Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport is the only other Indian airport to qualify in the category. Seoul’s Gimpo International Airport, Vancouver and Taipei airport in China are three airports that have fared better than Mumbai in the survey.
The ACI survey team randomly selects 1,500 passengers to gauge an airport’s service quality.
Its questionnaire seeks passenger feedback on parameters such as services from the airport staff, rates offered by the retail stores and connectivity within terminals.
On a passenger satisfaction index of five, Mumbai recorded a score of 4.34.
This is a distinct improvement over the earlier satisfaction scores of 4.20 in the first quarter of 2010 and 3.83 in the second quarter of 2009.
“This is one of the few independent surveys that truly echo the views of passengers,” said GV Krishna Reddy, chairman, Mumbai International Airport Limited (MAIL).
Across three categories, divided on the basis of airports' passenger handling capacity, Mumbai airport stood 23rd out of 146 contenders.
Last year, Mumbai airport ranked 87th in the same survey. Airport officials said enhancement of terminal infrastructure and etiquette training of staff are some of the reasons that made the difference.
“Infrastructure-wise we have more aerobridges, fancy food courts and services such as spas and salons. The airport has been investing a lot in improving staff behaviour across departments such as customs, immigration, airline and security staff,” said an airport official requesting anonymity, as he not authorised to talk to the media.