Top Busiest Airports Awards Confirms Cargo Segment Growth

Top Busiest Airports Awards Confirms Cargo Segment Growth

April 13, 2022 Off By Reem

The Airports Council International (ACI) World, the world’s airports trade association just released the list of the world’s ten busiest airports for the year 2021. According to the Montréal, Canada-based association, global passenger traffic had risen 20% in 2021 to an estimted 4.5 billions passengers from the previous year’s, but that number was still 50% bellow the 2019 figures, the last year before the global Covid19 pandemic. The top ten airports have handled about 10% of global passenger traffic which is estimated at 463 millions passengers. The overall number for 2021 was 51.8% higher than in 2020 but represents only 29.1% of the 2019 figure. Of the 10 airports who made the list, eight are located in the United States and the two remaining are in China.

The 10 busiest passenger airports

ATLANTA GA, US (ATL) bested the list as in 2019 with 75 millions passengers, followed by DALLAS/FORT WORTH TX, US (DFW) with 62 millions, DENVER CO, US (DEN) with 58 millions, CHICAGO IL, US (ORD) with 54 millions, LOS ANGELES CA, US (LAX) had 48 millions, CHARLOTTE NC, US (CLT) had 43 millions and ORLANDO FL, US (MCO) with 40 millions then followed by China’s GUANGZHOU, CN (CAN) which saw 40 millions passengers and CHENGDU, CN (CTU) which also had 40 millions passnger. LAS VEGAS NV, US (LAS) closed the list with 39 millions passengers handled.

The 10 busiest passenger airports for international traffic

In the segment measuring global passengers travel, Dubai kept the top place it already had last year and the year before with 29 millions passengers with Istanbul coming second with 26 millions passengers. Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris were the three western european airports following each other closely. Then Qatar’s Doha airport came in at number six, followed by London. The number 8, Antalya made a shocking and completely unexpected entry in the list from number 31 last year and together with Istanbul Airport helped Turkey positon two airports in the top 10 list. Madrid and Cancun placed respectively ninth and tenth in the list.

The busiest airport for cargo transportation 

The cargo transportation side of the airline business which proved very strong during the pandemic confirmed the trends by rising 15% from 2020 and recording its highest ever figure of 124 million metric tonnes, thus even besting the 2019 figure by 3.5%.  In this segment, the world’s 10 busiest airports enjoy cumulatively 25% of the world’s volume transported. Yet of the ten busiest airport in freight handling, four are in the United States.

HONG KONG SAR, HK (HKG) came out on top this year regaining its 2019 title after falling second in 2020.  MEMPHIS TN, US (MEM), last year’s number one has slid to the number two place. SHANGHAI, CN (PVG) was third, ANCHORAGE AK, US fourth, INCHEON, KR (ICN) fifth, LOUISVILLE KY, US (SDF) sixth, TAIPEI, TW (TPE) seventh, LOS ANGELES CA, US (LAX) eighth, TOKYO, JP (NRT) ninth and DOHA, QA (DOH) was number ten.

International cargo transportation and Asia’s e-commerce stronghold during the pandemic 

Very surprisingly of the top ten international freight handling airports, ANCHORAGE AK, US (ANC) and MIAMI FL, US (MIA) were the only two US-based aiports in the list placing respectively at the seventh and at the last spot. DUBAI, AE (DXB) honorably came in as number eight. FRANKFURT, DE (FRA) which occupies the number nine spot was the only airport in Europe. In fact, in that segment, number one HONG KONG SAR, HK (HKG), number two INCHEON, KR (ICN), number three SHANGHAI, CN (PVG), number four TAIPEI, TW (TPE) and number five TOKYO, JP (NRT) were all in Asia. this fact generally confirmed that Asia represented the production center during most of the e-commerce boom which have reshaped the cargo transportation business during the pandemic.

Yet, despite posting modest numbers in some of the figures released by the United States Airports Council International (ACI) World, the United States showed it was still dominating global aviation by taking all the ten spots for the number of aircraft movements. This list is composed respectively from number one to number ten of ATLANTA GA, US (ATL), CHICAGO IL, US (ORD), DALLAS/FORT WORTH TX, US (DFW), DENVER CO, US (DEN), CHARLOTTE NC, US (CLT), LOS ANGELES CA, US (LAX), LAS VEGAS NV, US (LAS), PHOENIX AZ, US (PHX), MIAMI FL, US (MIA) and HOUSTON TX, US (IAH).