World's busiest airports: Dubai falls off list; China dominates

Seven Chinese airports among world's 10 busiest terminals, say ACI

  
Travellers wearing face masks following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak line up at check-in counters of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport as the Spring Festival travel season begins ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year, in Shanghai, China January 28, 2021.

Travellers wearing face masks following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak line up at check-in counters of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport as the Spring Festival travel season begins ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year, in Shanghai, China January 28, 2021.

Reuters/Aly Song

Airports in China have taken over the rankings of the world’s 10 busiest airports for the first time in years, displacing long-time top performers that include Dubai and London terminals, according to a new report. 

A total of seven passenger terminals in the Asian state now occupy the league table with the most number of travellers in 2020, a report from Airports Council International (ACI) showed on Thursday. 

Guangzho Baiyun International Airport in China emerged as number one in the list, climbing several places from the 11th position in 2019. Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in the United States, which topped the global rankings in 2019, got bumped off to the second position. 

Dubai International Airport, which was the third busiest in 2019 after posting double-digit percentage traffic growth for years, fell off the top 10 list. Its strong contender, London’s Heathrow also fell off the seventh position. 

Out of the airports tracked for the annual rankings, only a total of three airports outside China made it to the top 10. Aside from Atlanta Airport, two other American airports in Dallas/Fort Worth and Denver made the cut, ranking fourth and seventh, respectively. 

Air passenger traffic plummeted in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Fears of infection, coupled with strict border restrictions and quarantine measures, have prompted the majority of travellers to postpone travel or holiday plans. 

Traffic at Dubai International fell by 70 percent to 25.9 million passengers. The total number of flights handled at the airport last year also plunged by 51.4 percent to 183,993 flights. 

Top 10 cities with busiest airports in 2020 

  • Guangzhou (China) 
  • Atlanta (United States) 
  • Chengdu (China) 
  • Dallas/Fort Worth (United States) 
  • Shenzhen (China) 
  • Beijing (China) 
  • Denver (United States) 
  • Kunming (China) 
  • Shanghai (China) 
  • Xi’an (China)  

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty) 
Cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com 

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