Enter your email and get access to exclusive offers and news from Swiss-Belhotel International direct to your email inbox and on our website.

Queenstown Airport is voted worlds best runway view

Queenstown Airport has topped a global poll by the private jet booking service PrivateFly as the world’s most scenic airport landings.

One voter commented: “I've flown to many beautiful locations worldwide but NOTHING even comes close to comparing with the thrill and beauty that stuns you as you come in to land at Queenstown.” Another said “I had no words, just tears of awe and beauty when I landed here! It's completely enveloped by Mother Nature.”

A panel of major names in the travel industry helped form the shortlist for the public vote, with Bill Prince, deputy editor of GQ magazine, nominating Queenstown. He commented: “A world class approach to a world class destination. The snatched panoramas as you descend into this hitherto barren-looking landscape makes you realise that pilots do get the best views.”

Previous winners of the annual poll include Nice Cote D’Azur (2014); St Maarten in the Caribbean (2013) and Barra in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides (2012).

Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly and an experienced pilot, comments: “Our poll has become an annual checklist for the well-travelled, and offers a fascinating mix of global descents. From iconic city views such as Las Vegas and London City; to tiny remote airstrips such as Saba in the Caribbean (the world’s shortest commercial runway); and the unique beach landing at Barra in the Outer Hebrides.

“New Zealand’s South Island has some of the most jawdropping natural scenery available anywhere in the world and Queenstown Airport’s landing offers the perfect airside introduction. It has always been highly praised by our voters but this year claims the top spot – and deservedly so.”

Queenstown Airport Corporation CEO Scott Paterson is thrilled with the accolade and says it’s fantastic international recognition for the airport, which serves as a direct gateway to some of New Zealand’s most renowned scenery and visitor experiences.

“We have been in the Top 10 for the past few years so it’s very exciting to take out the number one spot, especially given the beauty of the other airport approaches worldwide,” he said. “The approach to Queenstown over the snowcapped Southern Alps, pristine lakes and national parks is truly spectacular and inspiring. We’re delighted that so many travellers around the world think so too!”

The full top ten is as follows:

1. Queenstown Airport, New Zealand

2. Las Vegas McCarran Airport, USA

3. Nice Cote D'Azur Airport, France

4. Barra Airport, Scotland, UK

5. St Maarten Airport (Princess Juliana International), Caribbean

6. Saba Airport (Juancho E Yrausquin), Caribbean

7. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Canada

8. Gibraltar Airport, UK

9. London City Airport, UK

10. Cape Town Airport, South Africa

The PrivateFly Best Airport Approaches 2015 poll was conducted in March and April 2015 and received over 3,000 individual votes. A total of 147 different global airports received nominations.

To see full details of the results, including images of all ten landings on the list see

Queenstown Airport is voted worlds best runway view
Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak, Queenstown, New ZealandQueenstown Airport is voted worlds best runway view
Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand