Atlanta retained airport crown before the empire fell

by AirlineRatings editors
October 09, 2020
Photo: Wikipedia

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport remained the world’s busiest airport by passenger numbers in 2019 as a still-growing aviation industry hurtled towards disaster.

It was followed by Beijing Capital International Airport, which retained the second spot on the Airports Council International’s top 10 rankings.

Los Angeles International Airport moved ahead of Dubai to take the third spot and relegate the Gulf airport to fourth position.

READ: New research uncovers just 44 cases of COVID-19 transmission.

Tokyo Haneda (fifth), Chicago International (sixth)  and London Heathrow  (seventh) all retained their previous positions.

Up and comers were Shanghai Pudong, which moved up a ranking into the eighth spot,  and Paris Charles de Gaulle, with saw a similar rise to be ranked ninth.

The biggest promotion – five positions– was Dallas/ Fort Worth to 10th.

Source: ACI World

Passenger movements in 2019 rose 3.5 percent to exceed 9.1 billion as the aviation industry basked in a decade of continued growth.

That ended with the arrival of COVID-19 and a 58.4 percent plummet in passenger numbers for the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

International traffic was hit hardest a 64.5 percent drop while total cargo volumes handled by airports fell by 12.4 percent.

“From a period of sustained global growth in 2019, the aviation industry now faces the worst crisis we have ever confronted with huge declines in passenger traffic and revenues due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” ACI World director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira said.

“Aviation – and airports as a key focal point of the industry – will be a key driver of the global economic recovery from COVID-19 and governments need to provide assistance and coordination to help safeguard jobs, protect essential operations, and provide sensible policies to facilitate the return of air connectivity.

“We are positive about the future, but we need consistency and collaboration across the globe on key issues like testing.”