Queen Alia International Airport stands out for passenger satisfaction and service excellence
7 September 2022
With customer satisfaction high on its priorities checklist, Queen Alia International Airport has gone to great lengths over the past decade to ensure its new terminal delivers a welcoming, comfortable and authentically Jordanian travel experience at the heart of the Middle East. Nicolas Claude, CEO of Airport International Group explains more.
After assuming the responsibility of rehabilitating, expanding and operating the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA) in 2007, Airport International Group acknowledged that a premium customer experience would be the ultimate measure of success for this mega project.
In ensuing years, QAIA made significant turnarounds in its infrastructure and offerings, which led to it becoming an international award-winning airport frequently praised for its excellent service quality.
Global and domestic connectivity
As the largest international airport in Jordan – which sits at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe – QAIA is aptly positioned to link passengers from one corner of the world to the other. Leveraging this unique advantage, QAIA continuously adds to its network regional and international airlines – both full service and low‑cost – that offer convenient one‑stop connections to major cities around the globe, making it easier and more affordable for travellers worldwide to visit Jordan and the Levant for both business and leisure.
Situated only 35km from the centre of the capital Amman, QAIA presents tourists with quick and easy access to numerous scenic historical, natural and cultural sites in the kingdom such as the Dead Sea, Madaba and Jerash, as well as flights to southern Jordan, where tourists can enjoy the coastal city of Aqaba on the Red Sea, Petra and Wadi Rum.
World-class services and facilities
As custodian of Jordan’s prime gateway to the world, Airport International Group made considerable upgrades within QAIA to improve the overall passenger experience. Upon inaugurating the new terminal in 2013 and its expansion in 2016, QAIA released a slew of top-tier services and facilities such as an expanded area, increased annual capacity from 3.5 million passengers to up to 12 million passengers and a doubling of active gates from 13 to 25.
To further drive passenger satisfaction, QAIA set up a wide range of F&B and retail options, lounge and transit hotel, clear signage for easy wayfinding, numerous flight information screens, fast and reliable complimentary Wi-Fi, charging stations, adequate seating in waiting areas, as well as multiple carpark categories and meet and assist services.
Pair those with the warm hospitality for which Jordan is renowned the world over, QAIA is made to feel like home from the moment passengers enter to the moment they leave, thanks to a predominantly Jordanian airport community that creates a safe and welcoming environment.
With such extensive transformations, QAIA has been repeatedly lauded for its customer experience by prestigious organisations such as Airports Council International World (ACI World) and passengers themselves. Since the inauguration of the new terminal, QAIA has amassed a stellar track record of awards, recognitions and accreditations, the highlight of which is the title of ‘Best Airport by Size and Region: Middle East’ for airports serving five to 15 million passengers, which QAIA secured for three consecutive years and four times in its history.
Moreover, QAIA was recognised by the ACI World initiative ‘The Voice of the Customer’ for two years in a row and managed to renew Level 2 of the Airport Customer Experience Accreditation following concerted efforts to promote service excellence and customer satisfaction. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, QAIA also received the ACI World Airport Health Accreditation in acknowledgment of the safe airport environment created for passengers, workers and visitors alike.
As climate change concerns escalate, eco-conscious passengers may be glad to know they are travelling via the first carbon‑neutral airport in the region”
Guided by a department dedicated to monitoring and improving passenger satisfaction and the rigorous standards of the ISO 10002:2018 (Quality Management – Customer Satisfaction Guidelines for Complaints Handling in Organizations), QAIA is unwavering in its commitment to elevating the customer experience, year after year.
A tech-driven, passenger-centric experience
Growing passenger expectations, increasing traffic and stiff regional airport competition are collectively driving innovation at QAIA, especially as the industry presses on towards a post-COVID reality. For its journey to be truly seamless, QAIA is steadily undergoing modernisation projects to enhance its agility, business performance, as well as its ability to improve real-time knowledge of passenger needs.
One of the major projects completed during the pandemic was in partnership with leading travel technology company, Amadeus, which saw QAIA overhaul its IT systems in favour of a flexible, internet-enabled model that can be scaled up or down to meet fluctuating passenger demand. This was complemented by the extension of the baggage handling system, which raised annual passenger capacity from nine million to over 12 million, ensured QAIA was fully compliant with international security standards and boosted throughput. But while tech advancements such as artificial intelligence, robotics and automation are sweeping airports globally, QAIA proceeds cautiously to avoid gaining short- and medium‑term advantages that may overshadow the emotional connections and human interactions still appreciated in this part of the world.
Sustainable, climate-friendly airport
QAIA is made to feel like home from the moment passengers enter to the moment they leave, thanks to a predominantly Jordanian airport community that creates a safe and welcoming environment”
As climate change concerns escalate, eco‑conscious passengers may be glad to know they are travelling via the first carbon-neutral airport in the region. In 2022, QAIA also became the first in the Middle East and the second in Asia Pacific to reach Level 4+ ‘Transition’ of the Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme – in support of the Paris Agreement and UN Sustainable Development Goals. Backed by pioneering environmental practices, QAIA is on its way to becoming a net-zero carbon airport by 2050, on par with the global airport industry’s long-term carbon goal.
Despite the unprecedented obstacles that continue to face the air transport sector since 2020, QAIA remains committed to upholding the superior standards for which it has become renowned and to shaping a positive passenger-centric travel experience befitting of Jordan’s prime gateway to the world.
As CEO of Airport International Group (AIG), Claude leverages a longstanding 28-year career within the global airport industry to spearhead the expansion and operation project of Queen Alia International Airport (QAIA). Throughout his professional journey, Claude assumed numerous C-suite positions, most recent of which was CEO of the Nuevo Pudahuel concession in Chile, where he guided the expansion of Santiago International Airport, which has crossed the 24 million passenger milestone. During his 2010-2015 tenure as COO of AIG, Claude oversaw six key departments representing a total of 330 employees. Prior, Claude served as COO of Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte, a group operating and managing 13 airports in Mexico, and contributed to multiple projects at Aéroports de Paris, namely devising planning studies on several French and global airports.
Claude holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from EFREI Paris and a postgraduate degree in Statistics from the University Paris VI. He also obtained a Master Plan and Terminal Design course and an Advanced Master in Airport Management, both from École Nationale de l’Aviation Civile in Toulouse.