Incheon Airport’s 22nd Anniversary : A Review of Accomplishments Thus Far

Posted by

Incheon Airport is celebrating its 22nd anniversary since first opening its doors on March 29th, 2001. Over the past two decades, Incheon Airport has become a source of pride for Korea, establishing itself as a global hub, but things weren’t always so rosy. As we say, the bigger the trouble, the brighter a hero shines.☺

Today, we’re going to tell you the story of Incheon Airport, including how it’s overcoming the pandemic crisis and marking new achievements. Curious? Keep reading!

A review of Incheon Airport’s Achievements
01. Reaching #1 Just Four Years After Opening

① A unique record that has yet to be broken.

Did you know that there is an award in the airport industry where leading global airports compete for the top honor, similar to sports? It is the international Airport Service Quality (ASQ) assessment conducted by the International Airport Council (ACI). It is the world’s highest recognition for airports, being considered the Nobel Prize in the airport industry. 

Incheon Airport has maintained its #1 ASQ position for 12 consecutive years from 2005 to 2016, merely four years after its opening.  It’s a particularly meaningful award as it can only be received when an airport’s passengers are satisfied in a comprehensive range of areas such as accessibility, departure procedures and security checks, facilities, and food and beverage services. This impressive feat was only achieved by Incheon Airport, til this day.

The internal stability of Incheon Airport that allowed for this recognition over such a long period of time also served as a solid foundation in times of crisis in the following years. ☺

A review of Incheon Airport’s Achievements
02. Turning the pandemic crisis into opportunity

① Guardian of the aviation industry.

Amidst the unprecedented global pandemic, Incheon Airport managed to turn crisis into opportunity and a nosedive fall into a leap forward. First, it stepped up to be like a guardian, warding off the collapse of the aviation industry. Incheon Airport offered support programs worth about 2 trillion won, from rent reduction for commercial airport businesses to exemption of airport usage fees. It also created new alternative services for passengers through travel bubbles and no-landing tourism flights. As a result of these proactive attempts to help shoulder difficulties together, about 86% of airport workers were able to keep their jobs.

② K-Quarantine, Korea’s special weapon

Incheon Airport proposed an alternative strategy called ‘K-quarantine’ during the pandemic crisis. The airport has solidified its role as a gatekeeper and quarantine frontline for Korea, employing fever check robots and kiosks and developing the world’s first smart luggage quarantine system. As a result, Incheon Airport became a consultant for overseas airports regarding K-quarantine measures and also received ACI airport quarantine certification for three consecutive years, a first for an Asia-Pacific airport.

③ The center of the air logistics industry.

Incheon Airport has been the center of the air logistics industry since before the pandemic. At a time when travel demand and the number of passengers decreased, Incheon Airport found its solution to hard times in cargo. In the first quarter of 2021, international air cargo volume hit an all-time high since the opening of the airport. Despite the crisis, growth rate was at about 20%, ranking second in the world in the international cargo sector. Incheon Airport is making various efforts to expand its already strong cargo logistics infrastructure, such as opening the Cool Cargo Center in Passenger Terminal 2 and developing a smart cargo terminal.

④ Returning to be an airport filled with passengers.

Thanks to all these efforts involving everyone working hard to overcome the crisis together, Incheon Airport is finally experiencing some smooth sailing. After two years and two months, the skies have opened again and Incheon Airport wasted no time in taking action to revitalize the travel industry. Thanks to this, as of March 23rd, the number of daily passengers exceeded 143,000, while the number of cumulative transfer passengers exceeded 100 million. And the busyness seems to only be increasing!

A review of Incheon Airport’s Achievements
03. Making history

① The world’s first and only five-star airport.

All that hard work to turn crisis into opportunity paid off! On September 22nd, Incheon Airport became the only “five-star airport” in the world, being rated at the highest level of evaluation by the ACI Customer Experience Certification Program! 60 airports around the world competed, with their competitiveness in customer experience management having been evaluated in eight areas, including customer understanding, operation improvement, collaboration system, and service innovation. We’d like to think Incheon Airport’s priority in customer experience and customer satisfaction must’ve shone through to the judges.

② Expanding the horizons for airports by reaching the CES.

Incheon Airport refuses to be complacent and continues to work hard to further expand its horizons. Case in point: It was the world’s first airport to participate in the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year. Isn’t it amazing that Incheon Airport was on site at the prestigious event, shoulder to shoulder with the big companies behind world-leading technologies and innovations? Incheon Airport presented a blueprint for airports of the future, featuring various cutting-edge technologies such as smart passes based on facial recognition, metaverse information programs, and AR indoor navigation.

In honor of the 22nd anniversary of the opening of Incheon Airport, we shared with you the story of how our airport came to be what it is today. We hope that you felt a bit of pride while learning about the hard work that Incheon Airport put in over the last 22 years. We will continue to share more interesting and motivating stories in the future, so check back in soon! ☺

Leave a Reply

이메일 주소는 공개되지 않습니다. 필수 필드는 *로 표시됩니다