UK Charter Broker PrivateFly names World Most Scenic Airports

By Doug Gollan, September 15, 2020

Ireland’s Donegal Airport has topped the private jet broker’s list for the third consecutive year

Donegal in Ireland has been named as the world’s most beautiful airport 2020 – for the third successive year as voted by over 6,000 flying fans. Voters praised Donegal’s “stunning varied scenery”, its “beautiful beaches in the vicinity of the airport” and the sweeping views of Mount Errigal and The Rosses on the approach.

PrivateFly, the poll’s organizer, is part of U.S.-based Directional Aviation whose portfolio includes Flexjet, Sentient Jet, FXAIR, Nextant Aerospace, among others.

Coming in second place was Msembe Airstrip in Tanzania, which serves the breath-taking and protected Ruaha National Park in East Africa. Skiathos Alexandros Papadiamantis Airport in Greece came third, offering stunning views of the island of Skiathos and the Aegean Sea.

Bara Airport Scotland
Barra Airport, Scotland. Credit: Ewen Weatherspoon

More than 6,000 frequent flyers, flight enthusiasts, and aviation geeks took part in this year’s poll, with voting taking place in February and March this year, just before widespread travel restrictions to counter COVID-19 were introduced across the globe.

Adam Twidell, PrivateFly CEO, said, “Many of us have flown less frequently this year, but these ultimate destination landings are a welcome reminder of the uplifting power of travel and aviation – and a jaw-dropping inspiration for some memorable future flights. Flying offers the ultimate ringside seat to some of the most incredible views to be seen anywhere around the world.”

World’s Most Scenic Airports 2020

1  Donegal Airport  Ireland  
2  Msembe Airstrip  Tanzania  
3  Skiathos (Alexandros Papadiamantis) Airport Greece  
4  Orlando (Melbourne) International Airport USA  
5  Barra Airport  Scotland  
6  Bora Bora (Motu Mute) Airport French Polynesia 
7  St Maarten (Princess Juliana) International Airport  St Maarten  
8  Praslin Island Airport Seychelles  
9  Dubai International Airport United Arab Emirates 
10 Nadi International Airport Fiji 

This year, the poll also named region winners.

In Europe, following Donegal and Skiathos was the unique beach landing of Barra Airport in Scotland in third place.

In North America, the most scenic airport is Melbourne International Airport on Florida’s Space Coast with views of the deep turquoise waters of the Indian River. New York’s JFK Airport is in second place with its views of Long Island, tree-covered suburbs, and views of distant Manhattan. The third most popular is Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, with its incredible views of Oahu, including Pearl Harbor, Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head.

St. Maarten Airport
St Maarten Princess Juliana International Airport

South America, Central America and the Caribbean boast an abundance of incredibly scenic airports. Topping the 2020 list is St Maarten Princess Juliana International Airport, which provides flyers and beach lovers alike with one of the most spectacular landing spots in the world. Close behind is Aruba Queen Beatrix International Airport with sweeping views over the island. Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport is in the third position with its eye-popping views over the spectacular Brazilian coast and bustling city.

Asia is led by Malé Velana International Airport providing views of the exotic islands of the Maldives. Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International Airport is in second place with views of towering skyscrapers. Third is Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport offering flyers adrenalin-raising views of mountainous Nepal.

The top airport for Africa and The Middle East this year is the remote Msembe Airstrip in Tanzania with its sweeping vistas of the East African Ruaha National Park. Praslin Island Airport in the Seychelles is second place with its dazzling Indian Ocean approach, and in third is Dubai International Airport the United Arab Emirates with its view of the 21st-century cityscape rising spectacularly from the desert.

The natural beauty of Australasia is captured with Bora Bora Motu Mute Airport in French Polynesia in the first place. Nadi International Airport in Fiji is second. Third-place New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport offers flyers an incredible approach over Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps mountain range.

Last month, PrivateFly announced its first jet card with fixed one-way rates offering guaranteed availability for flights in Europe. Sister Flexjet is due to launch a fractional share and lease program in Europe next year, delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Header Image credit: Owen Clarke

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