By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Curitiba’s Afonso Pena International Airport has been named the best airport in Brazil by the government’s Aviation Secretary, department linked to the Presidency. The award Aeroporto + Brasil is given annually by the government to the airport that most exceeds travelers’ expectations.
During the ceremony to award the prize, Aviation Secretary, Guilherme Ramalho noted that 2015 was the best year yet for airport satisfaction in Brazil. “This moment marks a collective victory in the aviation sector. During 2015 we reached the highest passenger satisfaction level in all the country’s fifteen main terminals,” he said.
According to officials, more than 52,000 domestic and international travelers were surveyed in fifteen Brazilian airports during 2015. The fifteen airports chosen are responsible for eighty percent of all air travel in Brazil.
Passengers were asked to rate the airport in categories such as cleanliness, check in efficiency, X-ray efficiency, cordiality, baggage restitution and comfort. This year officials also included two new awards, this time for airline companies. The category Fastest Check In was won by Azul Linhas Aereas and the award for Most Efficient Baggage Restitution was given to Gol Linhas Aereas.
Aviation secretary Ramalho, however, admitted to Agencia Brasil that some airport services continue to be heavily criticized by passengers. “In almost all airports the critical factors were the high cost of food and parking,” said Ramalho, adding that Wi-Fi connections were also much criticized by those using the airport facilities.
In 2014 the award was given to the Gilberto Freyre Guararapes International Airport in Recife. According to ABEAR (Brazilian Airline Companies Association) in 2015 the four largest airline companies (TAM, Gol, Azul and Avianca) transported more than 94.3 million passengers through Brazilian airports.