The number of people traveling by air has increased significantly last year, no doubt due to the travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
In 2021, the total number of air passengers worldwide is estimated at around 4.5 billion, according to Airports Council International (ACI) World, a trade association of world airports that tracks data on global airports. Although this figure represents a 25 percent increase compared to the number of people traveling by air in 2020, it is still about a 50 percent decrease compared to the number of global air passengers in the pre-pandemic year of 2019, according to ACI World.
This data comes from the annual ranking of the 10 busiest airports in the world, organized by ACI World. The figures used in the record represent the total number of passengers on board and disembarkation, with passengers in transit counting once, according to ACI World. In other words, it is the number of people moving through the airport terminals.
“The ACI Global Passenger Transport Chart tells the story of an encouraging recovery trend, with most of the busiest pre-COVID-19 pandemic airports once again at the top,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira. stated in a statement. “While we are cautious that the recovery may face multiple headwinds, the momentum created by the reopening of country plans could lead to an increase in travel in the second half of 2022.”
Interestingly, eight of the 10 busiest airports in the world for passenger traffic last year are located in the United States, while the other two are located in China. This is a reversal of the ACI World 2020 rankings, where seven of the 10 busiest passenger airports were in China and only three in the United States.
It is important to note that China’s international borders remained closed in 2021. The country also maintained a zero COVID-19 policy, which meant that the COVID-19 outbreak led to severe local travel restrictions and further reduced domestic demand for air travel, ACI World explains. . On the contrary, the demand for air transport in the USA increased in 2021 as pandemic-related travel restrictions were lifted.
So, given this background, here are the 10 busiest airports in the world.
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, Georgia
In 2020, for the first time in 22 years, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport was not the busiest in the world. Instead, China’s Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport had the most passengers in 2020, according to ACI World.
Last year, however, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport – again – was the busiest airport in the world. This is because in 2021, 75,704,760 passengers moved through its terminals. This is a 76.4 percent increase in passenger traffic since 2020.
2. Dallas Fort Worth International, Texas
In 2021, 62,465,756 passengers moved through the Dallas Fort Worth terminals. That number represents a 58.7 percent increase over 2020, when Dallas Fort Worth was the fourth busiest airport.
3. Denver International Airport, Colorado
Last year, 58,828,552 passengers transferred through Denver International. Compared to the number of passengers in 2020, this is an increase of 74.4 percent.
4. Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Illinois
In 2021, 54,020,399 passengers moved through O’Hare, an increase of 75.1 percent over 2020.
5. Los Angeles International Airport, CA.
Just over 48 million passengers moved through LAX terminals last year. Although that number has increased by 66.8 percent compared to 2020, it is still 45 percent lower compared to the number of passengers in 2019.
6. Charlotte Douglas International Airport, North Carolina
Charlotte Douglas International saw a 59.2 percent increase in passenger numbers in 2021 as 43,302,230 passengers moved through its terminals.
What is interesting about the Charlotte Douglas ranking for 2021: In 2019, the airport was only the 34th busiest airport.
7. Orlando International Airport, Florida
Surprisingly, Orlando International saw a huge increase in passengers of 86.7 percent last year. In simple numbers, the airport was used by 40,351,068 passengers in 2021.
This year’s Orlando International ranking is also worth noting. Here’s why: This is the first time Orlando International Airport has been on the list of the 10 busiest ACI World airports, according to Reuters. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Orlando International was 31.sv the busiest airport according to ACI World. Last year, the airport was the 27th busiest.
8. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, China
In 2020, Guangzhou Baiyun was the busiest airport in the world, having the largest passenger traffic with 43,767,558 passengers, according to ACI World. Last year, however, that number dropped to 40,259,401 passengers, a decrease of 8 percent.
9. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, China
In 2020, Chengdu Shuangliu was third in the list of the 10 busiest ACI World airports with 40,741,509 passengers. Like Guangzhou Baiyun, Chengdu Shuangliu saw a drop in passengers last year.
In 2021, Chengdu Shuangliu had 40,117,496 passengers, which is 1.5 percent less than in 2020.
10. Harry Reid International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada
Like Orlando International and Charlotte Douglas International, Harry Reid International, formerly known as McCarran International Airport, saw a dramatic increase in passengers last year.
In 2021, Harry Reid International had 39,754,366 passengers, a staggering 78.6 percent increase over 2020. It should also be noted that in 2019, the airport was the 30th busiest airport in the world and in 2020 it was the 22nd busiest airport.
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