US airport reclaims title of world’s busiest

Transfer to Guangzhou. Georgia’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is once again the busiest airport in the world.

The US airport has been knocked from the number 1 position to the number 2 position by Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China by the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China in 2020 by the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China. Atlanta airport’s 22-year record at the top.

But in the 2021 rankings released by the Airports Council International trade association on Monday, ATL is back at the top, a sign of recovery from a dramatic drop in air traffic in the year. 2020 when the pandemic broke out.

In 2021, Atlanta airport will handle 75.7 million passengers. This is up 76% from 2020 but still nearly 32% lower than the pre-pandemic figure in 2019.

Guangzhou’s airport drops to 8th place in 2021, with 40.3 million passengers. Another airport in China, Chengdu’s Shuangliu International Airport, is ninth on the 2021 list, down from third in 2020.

US airports dominate the passenger traffic rankings in 2021, with 8 of the top 10 US airports.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas is the second busiest in 2021, with about 62.5 million passengers, and the international airport in Denver, Colorado, comes in third, with 58.8 million passengers.

Chicago’s O’Hare and Los Angeles International made the top five.

Luis Felipe de Oliveira, Director General of ACI World, said in a statement the listings show “an encouraging recovery trend”.

“While we are cautious that the recovery could be fraught with turbulence, the momentum generated by countries’ reopening plans could lead to tourism growth in the second half of 2022.” “, said de Oliveira.

According to ACI, by 2021, there will be an estimated 4.5 billion passengers globally. That number represents an increase of nearly 25% from 2020 but a decrease of more than 50% from 2019.

The United States and China swap places

With the recovery rate of domestic travel much faster than international travel, airports that were on the list of the world’s busiest airports before the pandemic have jumped to the top 10.

Airports in Charlotte, North Carolina (No. 6); Orlando, Florida (No. 7); and Las Vegas (no. 10) just entered the top 10 this year. Orlando and Las Vegas holiday magnets ranked 31st and 30th respectively in pre-pandemic passenger traffic in 2019.

The US’s strong showing in the top 10 is a reversal from 2020, when airports in China took up seven of the top 10.

China’s dominance in 2020 is due to the early recovery of domestic tourism in China. The country has yet to reopen to international visitors.

“If we look back to 2020, China was one of the first countries to come out of the initial wave of the pandemic and actually almost recovered,” said Patrick Lucas, vice president of economics at ACI World. fully recovered by the end of 2020.

But in 2021, domestic traffic in China has dropped significantly with the lockdowns being extended, while the US has seen a huge jump.

The United States has the largest domestic travel market in the world, followed by China.

Airports that frequently land in the top 10 of the world’s busiest airports list – such as Dubai International, London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle – have been absent during the pandemic.

“Markets with a very high percentage of international traffic will of course be hurt by all these restrictions and quarantine requirements,” Lucas said.

The important role of international traffic is also part of the reason why Beijing’s capital Beijing and Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport dropped out of the top 10. Beijing capital – once regularly ranked 2nd in terms of passenger traffic passengers – are also seeing traffic cut off by the city’s new Daxing International Airport.

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According to COVID-19 data, ACI is advocating a “risk-based approach” to easing travel restrictions, according to COVID-19 data.

“Vaccines are really travel documents, but as we can see now, many major markets are opening and … many countries have realized that travel restrictions or impositions are not enough. The travel restrictions really don’t do anything,” he said.

“If anything, it creates even greater harm. So that means it disrupts the socioeconomic benefits of air transport and tourism, etc.”

As it stands, ACI expects total passenger traffic to recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.

However, strong domestic markets, including the United States, are expected to recover in 2023. And markets with a high percentage of international traffic will not recover until 2025, Lucas said.

Globally, there are “different forces moving in opposite directions.”

Lucas said: “There is very strong pent-up demand and the lifting of restrictions has hampered travel compared to the cost of travel and geopolitical concerns regarding what is happening in Eastern Europe. .

But overall, ACI is upbeat. “We have a feeling that consumers, passengers, are going to be hit, so to speak, despite rising travel costs.”


10 busiest airports in the world in terms of passengers in 2021

1. Atlanta (ATL): 75.7 million passengers, an increase of 76% compared to 2020

2. Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW): 62.5 million visitors, an increase of 59% compared to 2020

3. Denver (DEN): 58.8 million passengers, an increase of 74% compared to 2020

4. Chicago O’Hare (ORD): 54 million passengers, an increase of 75% compared to 2020

5. Los Angeles (LAX): 48 million passengers, an increase of 67% compared to 2020

6. Charlotte (CLT): 43.3 million passengers, an increase of 59% compared to 2020

7. Orlando (MCO): 40.4 million passengers, an increase of 87% compared to 2020

8. Guangzhou (MAY): 40.3 million passengers, down 8% compared to 2020

9. Chengdu (CTU): 40.1 million passengers, down 1.5% compared to 2020

10. Las Vegas (LAS): 39.8 million passengers, an increase of 79% compared to 2020

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