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It is July 2007 and The Moodie Report is in Hyderabad to view construction work at the city’s new Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.
It is just eight months from opening and the whole facility is a giant construction site. Some 6,000 workers are crawling over the site like ants, working feverishly day and night to ensure the airport is completed on time.
There seems so much to do in an impossibly tight time frame to transform this sprawling workplace into the state-of-the-art international airport that the GMR-led airport development consortium has promised.
Fast forward to March 2008 (below) and GMR has somehow defied the odds to open this ambitious greenfield airport that at the time took Indian airports to new heights. The opening is smooth and without incident, the consumer and media reaction positive.
Now let’s fast forward again, to 17 February 2010. The much-respected Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Service Quality Awards have just been announced. And which airport has just been named the fifth best in the world – behind established giants Incheon, Singapore Changi, Hong Kong and Beijing? Yes that’s right – Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad.
And which airport – wait for this – has just been named BEST in the world among those handling 5-15 million passengers? Yes, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. And that’s ahead of some great airports, including Austin, Texas (which I know of by its considerable reputation though I haven’t visited it), Cancun, Mexico and Nagoya, Japan.
What an achievement – and what a testament to the work of GMR and the other stakeholders in GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited.
GMR will be delighted too at another appearance in the ASQ rankings. New Delhi (Indira Gandhi International) Airport was rated ‘Most Improved’ airport in Asia Pacific. Anyone who has visited the existing terminals in recent months and seen the dramatic improvement over what went before (it was pretty horrendous) will know exactly why that accolade was given.
But here’s the more exciting news – just wait for the new integrated Terminal 3 that opens in July. I have been privileged to be able to track the development of this stunning facility since the early days, and recently co-moderated the concessionaires’ conference that focused on T3’s commercial offer. Something very special is happening in Delhi.
Expect T3 to also rank high in the ASQ rankings in years to come. And watch GMR thrive on the global stage as it continues an international expansion that is absolutely and impeccably underpinned by delivering consumer excellence.