In Germany, Munich Airport has been named the winner of the Best Airport in Europe award for the fourth consecutive year in the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2008.

In an international airport survey conducted by Skytrax, an independent, UK-based aviation market research firm, passengers were asked to assess over 40 aspects of customer satisfaction for product and standard services.

Over 8.2m passengers scrutinised 190 different airports worldwide, checking categories such as ease of catching connecting flights, cleanliness of restrooms and the efficiency of security checks.

Munich Airport ranked fifth overall in worldwide standings, behind Asian hubs Hong Kong International Airport, Singapore Changi, Seoul Incheon and Kuala Lumpur. The closest European competitors included Copenhagen, Zurich and Helsinki.

'We're extremely pleased to remain passengers' favoured airport in Europe for high quality and efficiency in 2008 – and this despite the fact that Munich's passenger traffic grew so strongly in the past year,' said Michael Kerkloh, CEO of Munich Airport's operating company FMG.

Additionally, Munich Airport has reported strong passenger figures for the first quarter of 2008, with the airport enjoying an increase in total passengers of 1m to 17m, a 6 per cent increase on 2007.

Intercontinental traffic remains a solid growth area, the group said, with the number of passengers flying on long-haul routes up 7 per cent compared with the same period of 2007. New routes led to a rapid increase in traffic to South Korea and India, while double-digit growth also occurred on routes to the US. European traffic jumped 7 per cent, with the domestic segment up by 4 per cent.

'In view of the current trend in oil prices and the turmoil currently affecting some parts of the aviation industry. I regard this as a truly remarkable success by Munich Airport as well as an impressive confirmation of our strategy to systematically develop the airport into a hub at the European level,' Mr Kerkloh told the Munich Press Club.