These are the world’s busiest airports

These are the world’s busiest airports

In a result that will please pilots more than environmentalists, 2018 was a bumper year for plane travel.

According to the Annual World Airport Traffic Report, 2019, 8.8 billion passengers successfully caught their flights last year, a 6.4% increase year-over-year, at more than one flight per person in the world.

Here’s everything you need to know about the world’s busiest airports…

America on top

Without further ado, the world’s busiest airport is… Atlanta.

Atanta International – the world’s busiest airport (iStock/PA)
Atanta International – the world’s busiest airport (iStock/PA)

We know, it’s not exactly New York or Tokyo, but for longtime followers of airport analytics, it’s hardly a shock result. Atlanta International has soared above the pack for the last 21 years, boosted this year by a 3.3% increase in total passengers.

A gateway to the North American continent, the state capital of Georgia is within a two-hour flight of 80% of the US, and many of its visitors don’t stay long. The only airport serving its city, 107.4 million people passed through its terminals last year – roughly the population of Spain and Italy combined.

America gobbled up five of the list’s top 20, with Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Denver International snapping up 6th, 15th, and 20th respectively.

City In The Sky Jets GIF by PBS - Find & Share on GIPHY

Europe is relatively well-represented, with London, Paris and Amsterdam all boasting airports loitering around the number 10 mark. South America, Africa and Oceania don’t make the list at all.

Asia on the charge

It’s not really a surprise anymore, but the megacities of Asia continued to carve a dominant presence in the top 20, and 12 of the top 30 fastest-growing airports hail from either India or China.

Beijing Capital International and Dubai International retained second and third place on the list, while Tokyo Haneda, Hong Kong International, and Shanghai Pudong secured places in the top 10.

Hong Kong International Airport (iStock/PA)
Hong Kong International Airport (iStock/PA)

If you only count international passengers,  Dubai International came top of the table, closely followed by London Heathrow. The fastest-growing airport of them all was  Bangalore, India, which recorded a whopping 29% increase.

Here’s the top 10 in full:

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, USA – 107.4 million

2. Beijing Capital International Airport, China – 101 million

3. Dubai International Airport, UAE – 89.1 million

4. Los Angeles International Airport, USA – 87.5 million

5. Tokyo Haneda Airport, Japan – 86.9 million

6. Chicago O’Hare International Airport, USA – 83.2 million

Tokyo Haneda brings a major 2001: A Space Odyssey vibe (iStock/PA)
Tokyo Haneda brings a major 2001: A Space Odyssey vibe (iStock/PA)

7. London Heathrow Airport, UK – 80.1 million

8. Hong Kong International Airport, China – 74.5 million

9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport, China – 74 million

10. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, France – 72.2 million

- Press Association

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