Airports Council International (ACI) World has published data showing the top 10 busiest airports in the world for 2021.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) reclaimed its title as the world’s busiest airport for passenger volumes, serving 75.7 million passengers in 2021 and recording an increase of 76.4 percent compared to 2020.

ATL was followed in the rankings by Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, which served 62.5 million passengers, and Denver International Airport, which served 58.8 million passengers. After being the busiest airport in 2020, Guangzhou Bai Yun International Airport served 40.3 million passengers, and was therefore ranked eighth busiest in 2021.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said:

These numbers speak to the resiliency and spirit of Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. We thank our Airport employees and passengers who continued to stand with us as we worked through the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Orlando International Airport recorded the biggest improvement, with an increase of 86.7 percent in passenger traffic. The Floridian airport served 40.4 million passengers, causing them to jump from 27th position in 2020 to seventh in 2021.

ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said:

The ACI World passenger traffic rankings tell the story of an encouraging trend of recovery, with most of the recurrent busiest airports pre-COVID-19 back at the top. Although we are cautious that recovery could face multiple headwinds, the momentum created by reopening plans by countries could lead to an uptick in travel in the second half of 2022.

ACI World also estimates that over 69 million global aircraft movements took place in 2021, representing a gain of more than 12% from 2020, with ATL again topping the rankings with 707,661 operations. All top 10 airports for aircraft movements were in the United States.

Air cargo was less impacted by COVID-19 and volumes increased by close to 15% year-over-year, leading to an estimated record 124 million metric tonnes in 2021.

Hong Kong International Airport was the busiest airport for air cargo, processing 5.0 million metric tonnes in 2021, while Memphis International Airport came in second with 4.5 million metric tonnes.

Full data from ACI World can be found here.


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