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O.R. Tambo International climbs five places in global service rankings

Posted 6 December 2017 · Add Comment

O.R. Tambo International Airport has climbed five places in the global quality rankings for airports in its category in the third quarter of 2017 following an intensified service drive by airport management and staff.

The airport moved up to 24th place in the global Airport Service Quality (ASQ) category for airports with 15 to 25 million passengers. The ASQ scores are based on independent passenger surveys administered by Airports Council International.

“This improvement is most pleasing and is a significant achievement over a relatively short time,” said Bongiwe Pityi, General Manager of O. R. Tambo International Airport.

She was speaking this weekend at the airport’s annual Airport Stakeholder Awards gala dinner to recognise service excellence among the airport’s service providers. These included airlines, retailers, car rental companies, hotels, ground handlers, government agencies and community-based non-profit organisations. 

Gauteng MEC for Transport Ismail Vadi was among the VIP guests and opened the proceedings by emphasising the importance of aviation service excellence.

“These awards demonstrate that no organisation can run successfully without strategic support from its key stakeholders and partners. As an airport operator, it is therefore vital for us to affirm each stakeholder and recognise how they are an integral part of achieving and maintaining service excellence at Africa’s biggest and busiest airport,” said Vadi.

“I cannot over-emphasise the strategic national importance of airports as sovereign assets and as enablers of economic activity. Airports are major contributors of direct and indirect employment and business opportunities. Airports continue to drive country economies and connect people all over the world,” he said.

Pityi reminded the guests that they are part of a community of 50 000 people working within the airport environment. 

“In any airport, only a small fraction of the people working there are actually employed by the airport company. This means that the passenger experience depends very much on all of us being aligned and striving to put the traveller first in everything we do. 

“This is why we are so appreciative of the efforts of the entire airport community over the past quarter,” said Pityi.

An airport’s ASQ score is determined by factors that enhance the passenger’s experience which include functionality of infrastructure, ambience, cleanliness, retail mix, food and beverage facilities, way-finding and user-friendliness, and Wi-Fi access. ASQ is the only worldwide programme that surveys passengers at the airport on their day of travel. 

In the latest ASQ rating for the third quarter of 2017 areas that achieved significant improvement at O.R. Tambo International Airport were overall satisfaction, waiting time at passport / ID inspection and restaurant / eating facilities.

Areas that also achieved improvements include speed of baggage delivery, courtesy and helpfulness of airport and airline check-in staff, cleanliness of the airport terminal, and a feeling of being safe and secure.

Speaking at the awards, Pityi said that the ethos that underpins the Airport Stakeholder Awards gala dinner is that excellence is not a once-off activity, but rather a journey of continuous reflection, benchmarking and aiming for improvement.

The process of determining the winners of the Airport Stakeholder Awards gala dinner requires months of data capturing and analysis of performance in each category. 

“No organisation can run successfully without collaboration from strategic partners. As an airport operator, it is therefore vital for us to affirm each stakeholder and recognise how they are an integral part of achieving and maintaining service excellence at Africa’s biggest and busiest airport,” said Pityi.

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