The world’s most beautiful airport landings

Helen Coffey
·2-min read
Donegal has won for three consecutive years (Owen Clarke)
Donegal has won for three consecutive years (Owen Clarke)

The world’s most scenic airport landings in 2020 have been revealed by a new poll.

Donegal Airport in Ireland has been crowned the most beautiful for the third year in a row, followed by Msembe Airstrip in Tanzania.

Skiathos (Alexandros Papadiamantis) Airport in Greece bagged third place, while Orlando (Melbourne) International Airport in the US and the island of Barra in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides came fourth and fifth respectively.

The Scenic Airports poll was conducted by private jet booking service PrivateFly between February and March 2020, and garnered more than 6,000 votes.

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.

“We're delighted to receive this recognition for the third year,” said Steve O‘Culain, Chairman of Donegal Airport.

“And when they can, we hope more travellers will come and share this beautiful part of the world with us, located in the Gaelic speaking Donegal Gaeltacht on the Wild Atlantic Way. Beidh míle fáilte romhaibh!”

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.

Msembe airstrip has views over a National ParkUlf Rydin
Msembe airstrip has views over a National ParkUlf Rydin

“Flying offers the ultimate ringside seat to some of the most incredible views to be seen anywhere around the world.”

He added that the top 10 list for 2020 had been compiled following submissions from aviation enthusiasts around the world, “eager to celebrate the most beautiful aerial views from window seats and flight decks, with Donegal deemed unbeatable for the third year in a row.”

Skiathos Airport has views over the waterSkiathos Airport
Skiathos Airport has views over the waterSkiathos Airport

For the first time in its annual poll, PrivateFly also revealed the highest-ranking airports by region.

Donegal was the top European airport landing; Orlando (Melbourne) was number one in North America; St Maarten (Princess Juliana) International Airport nabbed first place in the South America, Central America and Caribbean category; and Malé (Velana) International Airport was best in Asia.

Barra offers white-sand beachesEwen Weatherspoon
Barra offers white-sand beachesEwen Weatherspoon

In Africa and the Middle East, Tanzania’s Msembe Airstrip outshone the competition with its views over East African Ruaha National Park, while Australasia’s winner was Bora Bora (Motu Mute) Airport in French Polynesia.

The top 10 most scenic airport landings

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

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