New Zealand's Queenstown Airport is flying high after being voted ‘World’s Most Scenic Airport Landing’ in an annual poll conducted by international private jet booking service PrivateFly.
An expert judging panel compiled a shortlist of airports considered to offer passengers spectacular views on approach, then votes were cast by international travel experts and travel fans.
Queenstown Airport, which serves as a direct gateway to some of New Zealand’s most renowned scenery and visitor experiences, topped the list as the voters’ favourite. Other airports that made the Top 10 list included Las Vegas, Nice Cote D’Azur and Cape Town.
Bill Prince, deputy editor of GQ magazine and a member of the judging panel, believes Queenstown Airport is a worthy winner as "a world class approach to a world class destination”.
Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly and an experienced pilot, says “New Zealand’s South Island has some of the most jawdropping natural scenery available anywhere in the world and Queenstown Airport’s landing offers the perfect airside introduction.”
Comments from voters included:
“I've flown to many beautiful locations worldwide but NOTHING even comes close to comparing with the thrill and beauty that stuns you as you come in to land at Queenstown.”
“I had no words, just tears of awe and beauty when I landed here! It's completely enveloped by Mother Nature.”
Queenstown Airport Chief Executive Scott Paterson is thrilled with the accolade and says it’s fantastic international recognition both for the airport and the region.
“We’ve been in the Top 10 for the past few years so it’s very exciting to take out the number one spot, especially given the beauty of the other airport approaches worldwide,” he said. “The approach to Queenstown is truly spectacular and we’re delighted that so many travellers around the world think so too.”
Mr Paterson says the airport is a key New Zealand gateway for premium visitors and there are plans to expand and enhance its existing private jet facilities to better cater for growing demand. The airport is in the process of acquiring additional land to house the facilities.
Background: Queenstown Airport
Queenstown Airport is one of Australasia’s fastest-growing airports and is New Zealand’s fourth busiest airport for passenger numbers, hosting 1.25 million passengers in the 2013-2014 financial year.
Located in Frankton, 10 minutes from the internationally renowned four-season resort of Queenstown, the airport services the surrounding region with daily domestic flights and regular direct trans-Tasman flights.
Queenstown Airport is also one of New Zealand's busiest helicopter bases and is heavily used for tourist 'flightseeing', especially to Milford Sound and Mount Cook, using both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.