Airports Council International (ACI) World has today published the top 10 busiest airports worldwide for 2021 showing encouraging signs of traffic recovery as many previous busiest airports re-join top ranks.
The annual report issued by the Airports Council International showed that Dubai International Airport retained, during 2021, the first place, at the forefront of the busiest international airports around the world, for the eighth year in a row, in terms of the number of international passengers.
The aviation sector usually focuses on international travelers mainly while measuring the performance of air transport hubs, as they are the most influential in the movement of international trade and tourism, and they are the criterion that indicates the extent to which an airport is connected to the outside world.
According to the Airports Council International report issued today, Dubai International Airport received 29.1 million passengers in 2021, compared to about 25.9 million passengers in 2020, an increase of more than three million passengers, and a growth rate of 12.7 percent.
Dubai International Airport topped the list of the world’s busiest international airports in terms of international passenger traffic, with a difference of about 2.7 million passengers compared to Istanbul International Airport, which came second and handled about 26.4 million passengers. Amsterdam Airport ranked third with 25.4 million passengers. Frankfurt and Bari International Airports ranked fourth and fifth, with 22.7 million passengers and 22.6 million passengers each, respectively.
Total global passengers in 2021 is estimated to be close to 4.5 billion, representing an increase of almost 25% from 2020, or a drop of more than 50% from 2019 results.
Passenger traffic at the top 10 busiest airports, representing collectively almost 10% of global traffic (463 million passengers), witnessed a gain of 51.8% from 2020, or a drop of 29.1% vis-à-vis their 2019 results.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL, 75.7 million passengers, +76.4%) is back at the top of 2021 rankings, followed by Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW, 62.5 million passengers, +58.7%), and Denver International Airport (DEN, 58.8 million passengers, +74.4%).
Cargo and aircraft movements
Air cargo, which was less impacted by COVID-19, had its volumes increase by close to 15% year-over-year (+3.5% versus 2019), to an estimated record 124 million metric tons in 2021.