Travel: Manchester airport loses altitude

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Manchester has been overtaken by Singapore's Changi as the favourite airport for long-haul passengers, the International Air Transport Association said yesterday. Changi's ultra-modern terminal ousted Manchester, which is undergoing major reconstruction, from the top spot it held last year in a poll based on the views of some 55,000 people and covering 54 airports. IATA said Manchester's strong position despite building work could reflect the attitude of the airport's staff who came top of a separate section of the survey for courtesy and friendliness to travellers. Athens, bottom of the poll last year and for years target of fierce criticism from the travel trade, was voted the most improved airport. Gatwick, which came 12th in the overall rating, came top for special services for overseas visitors, second for staff courtesy, and second equal for efficiency of check-in staff.

High flyers

1. Singapore

2. Manchester

3. Melbourne

4. Amsterdam

5. Zurich

6. Cincinatti

7. Orlando

8. Montreal

9. Sydney

10 Calgary