World's Busiest Airports in 2020 - 2021

World's Busiest Airports in 2020 - 2021

Airports Council International (ACI) released its preliminary passenger statistics for 2020 and announced rankings for the world’s busiest airports. And ACI Europe reveals the busiest airports in Q1 2021.


Global passenger traffic at the world’s top 10 busiest airports decreased by -45.7% in 2020. Overall, passenger traffic at the world’s airports decreased by -64.6% which shows that the impact of the pandemic and the early stages of recovery in air travel has not been uniform around the world.

According to the preliminary data published, Guangzhou Bai Yun International Airport in China recorded the most passenger traffic in 2020, with Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in the United States just behind.

Seven of the top 10 airports for passenger traffic are in China with three in the United States. In most cases, domestic air travel is beginning a modest rebound while international air travel remains depressed because of on-going travel restrictions. For example, Hongqiao International Airport in China has moved from 46th position in 2019 to the 9th in 2020, illustrating the uneven nature of the impact of, and recovery from, the pandemic across the world.



PASSENGERS*
2020 2019 AIRPORT 2020 2019 Percent change
1 11 GUANGZHOU, CN (CAN) 43 767 558 73 394 810 -40.4
2 1 ATLANTA GA, US (ATL) 42 918 685 110 531 300 -61.2
3 24 CHENGDU, CN (CTU) 40 741 509 55 858 552 -27.1
4 10 DALLAS/FORT WORTH TX, US (DFW) 39 364 990 75 066 956 -47.6
5 26 SHENZHEN, CN (SZX) 37 916 054 52 931 925 -28.4
6 2 BEIJING, CN (PEK) 34 513 827 100 013 642 -65.5
7 16 DENVER CO, US (DEN) 33 741 129 69 015 703 -51.1
8 37 KUNMING, CN (KMG) 32 990 805 48 076 238 -31.4
9 46 SHANGHAI, CN (SHA) 31 165 641 45 637 882 -31.7
10 40 XI’AN, CN (XIY) 31 073 924 47 220 745 -34.2
  • Total passengers enplaned and deplaned, passengers in transit counted once
INTL PASSENGERS*
2020 2019 AIRPORT 2020 2019 Percent change
1 1 DUBAI, AE (DXB) 25 831 363 86 328 896 -70.1
2 3 AMSTERDAM, NL (AMS) 20 880 990 71 679 691 -70.9
3 2 LONDON, GB (LHR) 20 650 473 76 043 973 -72.8
4 6 PARIS, FR (CDG) 19 057 856 69 841 276 -72.7
5 8 FRANKFURT, DE (FRA) 16 837 104 63 067 739 -73.3
6 14 ISTANBUL, TR (IST) 15 945 340 39 580 735 -59.7
7 15 DOHA, QA (DOH) 12 522 288 38 786 566 -67.7
8 5 INCHEON, KR (ICN) 11 955 756 70 578 050 -83.1
9 7 SINGAPORE, SG (SIN) 11 635 000 67 601 000 -82.8
10 11 MADRID, ES (MAD) 11 052 157 44 919 124 -75.4
  • International passengers enplaned and deplaned
CARGO (METRIC TONNES)*
2020 2019 AIRPORT 2020 2019 Percent change
1 2 MEMPHIS TN, US (MEM) 4 613 431 4 322 740 6.7
2 1 HONG KONG SAR, HK (HKG) 4 468 089 4 809 485 -7.1
3 3 SHANGHAI, CN (PVG) 3 686 627 3 634 230 1.4
4 6 ANCHORAGE AK, US (ANC) 3 157 682 2 745 348 15.0
5 4 LOUISVILLE KY, US (SDF) 2 917 243 2 790 109 4.6
6 5 INCHEON, KR (ICN) 2 822 370 2 764 369 2.1
7 9 CHINESE TAIPEI (TPE) 2 342 714 2 182 342 7.4
8 13 LOS ANGELES CA, US (LAX) 2 229 476 2 092 003 6.6
9 8 DOHA, QA (DOH) 2 175 292 2 215 804 -1.8
10 12 MIAMI FL, US (MIA) 2 137 699 2 092 472 2.2
  • Cargo: loaded and unloaded freight and mail in metric tonnes
INTL FREIGHT (METRIC TONNES)*
2020 2019 AIRPORT 2020 2019 Percent change
1 1 HONG KONG SAR, HK (HKG) 4 420 312 4 703 589 -6.0
2 2 SHANGHAI, CN (PVG) 2 952 602 2 825 009 4.5
3 3 INCHEON, KR (ICN) 2 759 467 2 664 005 3.6
4 6 CHINESE TAIPEI (TPE) 2 323 412 2 165 216 7.3
5 10 ANCHORAGE AK, US (ANC) 2 221 804 1 942 554 14.4
6 5 DOHA, QA (DOH) 2 145 076 2 173 371 -1.3
7 7 TOKYO, JP (NRT) 1 958 505 2 039 905 -4.0
8 4 DUBAI, AE (DXB) 1 932 022 2 514 918 -23.2
9 9 FRANKFURT, DE (FRA) 1 818 748 1 961 460 -7.3
10 12 MIAMI FL, US (MIA) 1 730 859 1 706 064 1.5
  • International freight loaded and unloaded in metric tonnes
AIRCRAFT MOVEMENTS*
2020 2019 AIRPORT 2020 2019 Percent change
1 2 ATLANTA GA, US (ATL)   548 016   904 301 -39.4
2 1 CHICAGO IL, US (ORD)   538 211   919 704 -41.5
3 3 DALLAS/FORT WORTH TX, US (DFW)   514 702   720 007 -28.5
4 5 DENVER CO, US (DEN)   436 971   631 955 -30.9
5 20 PHOENIX AZ, US (DVT)   402 444   456 790 -11.9
6 7 CHARLOTTE NC, US (CLT)   397 983   578 263 -31.2
7 4 LOS ANGELES CA, US (LAX)   379 364   691 257 -45.1
8 12 GUANGZHOU, CN (CAN)   373 421   491 249 -24.0
9 11 SHANGHAI, CN (PVG)   325 678   511 846 -36.4
10 8 LAS VEGAS NV, US (LAS)   323 422   552 962 -41.5
       

“The impact of the COVID-19 on global passenger traffic pandemic brought aviation to a virtual standstill in 2020 and we continue to face an existential threat,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said.

“The data published today reveals the challenge airports continue to face and it remains imperative that the industry is supported through direct support and sensible policy decisions from governments to ensure that aviation can endure, rebuild connectivity, and fuel a global economic recovery.


“The findings show that the impact remains uneven with different regions experiencing different challenges and requiring different policy decisions and support from governments to lay the foundation for recovery.

Passenger Traffic in Europe in 2021

Passenger traffic in Q1 slumped by -81.7% across the European airport network, compared to the same period pre-pandemic (Q1 2019). This marked a further decrease from the previous quarter (Q4 2020 at -79.2%), resulting in the loss of 395.5 million passengers.

A closer look at the data reveals that Europe has become a two-speed aviation market - with airports in the EU/EEA/Switzerland still sinking into the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Other European airports led by those in Russia and Turkey are faring much better.

The top 5 European airports in Q1 all came from Russia and Turkey – with Istanbul Airport (-64%) the busiest European airport, followed by Moscow-Domodedovo (-18%), Moscow Sheremetyevo (-60%), Istanbul-Sabiha Gokcen (-48%) and Moscow-Vnukovo (-26%). While Paris-CDG -82%), Madrid (-81%), Frankfurt (-83%) and Amsterdam-Schiphol (-87%) still made it in the top 10 league, London-Heathrow (-91%) did not.

Remarkably, Sochi airport (+47%) welcomed more passengers than London-Heathrow as Russians flocked to the Black sea resort city – thus becoming the one and only airport in Europe to post an increase in passenger traffic in Q1.

The passenger traffic at airports in Turkey, Russia and other markets1 improved markedly from -59% in January to -49% in March, with Q1 closing at -54.8%. This is due in large part to airports in Russia and to a lesser extent Turkey and Ukraine, reflecting larger domestic markets combined with less severe lockdowns and travel restrictions.

First-look April data shows no improvement

Preliminary data for April shows no significant improvement, despite the timing of the Easter holidays at the beginning of the month. In the first 10 days of April, passenger traffic at Europe’s airports was down by -80%, with airports in the EU/EEA/Switzerland and the UK at -87% and others at -48.7%.


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