Hamburg Airport has been voted Best Regional Airport Europe at the Skytrax World Award for the fourth time. The prizes, which are based on passenger surveys, were presented during an award ceremony on March 21, 2018 in Stockholm’s Passenger Terminal EXPO. Hamburg ranked 25th in “The World’s Top 100 Airports 2018” and came second after Chubu Centrair International Airport Nagoya (Japan) in the ranking of “The World’s Best Regional Airports 2018”. Passenger figures at Hamburg Airport rose by around 8.6 per cent to 17.62 million passengers in 2017 amid strong passenger growth. Record passenger numbers used Hamburg Airport for their holiday or business travel and surpassed the 17 million mark in mid December for the first time in it’s 107-year history. Around 60 airlines now fly to 130 national and international destinations from Hamburg.
First response in 25 years
To raise awareness of the Hamburg-Zurich flight and global connections operated by Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), a Swiss alpenhorn responded to the tower warden in Hamburg’s Michel in late January when the daily greeting resounded across the city. A fanfare of Swiss horns answered from four buildings in the north, south, east and west. Commenting on the musical response, the tower warden Josef Thöne said: “It was a goosebump moment for me. That was the first, immediate response to my trumpet chant in 25 years. I am delighted by the appreciation of this Hamburg tradition and I feel honoured.”
The customary greeting began during the Reformation and has continued at St. Michael’s tower for over 300 years. The tower trumpeter makes his way to his chamber on the seventh floor of the tower, 279 steps above the ground, at 10 am and 9 pm from Monday to Saturday and just once at 12 pm on Sundays. Until the practice of locking the gates was abolished on January 1, 1861, the trumpet chorale signalled the opening and closing of the city gates. Two self-employed musicians share the post of St Michael’s tower warden. Horst Huhn has been St Michael’s tower warden since 1992 and leads the St Michael’s brass ensemble. Thöne has been playing from the tower since 1995 and leads the St Michael’s horn ensemble.
Over 10 million in media coverage
“A small gift for a Hamburg native that shows us the four cardinal points every day,” said SWISS. The musical highlight proved a hit and reached over 1 million people in Hamburg and north Germany via social media channels. The SWISS marketing event, backed by the Hamburg-based achtung GmbH, scored over 10,000 likes, comments and shares on Facebook alone. Around 10 million people, who are potential SWISS Air customers, were reached.