busiest airports in the world

Top 10 Busiest Airports in the World

Air travel has become the second most common means of long-distance travel, having soundly replaced ships in this regard. Every travel by plane starts at an airport. There are now well over 40,000 airports in the world. While not all of those are used for commercial air travel, the biggest and busiest airports in the world are indeed intended for private citizens.

The following list ranks the busiest airports in the world by the number of passengers who travel from or to the respective airport on an annual basis.

The 10 Busiest Airports in the World:

busiest airports

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

atlanta airport
Source: formulaone / Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

110.5 million passengers

Based in: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Established in: 1926

IATA Code: ATL
Airline hub for: Delta Air Lines

The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been the world’s busiest airport for quite some time now, since 1998 to be exact. 2019 was no exception. With a total of around 110.5 million passengers flying from or to Atlanta, the airport in the US state of Georgia successfully defended its two-decades long status as the world’s most important airport. The airport is not only important as a destination airport, but even more important as a hub airport that connects the United States with the rest of the Americas and vice versa.


2. Beijing Capital International Airport

Beijing Airport
Source: AcidBomber / Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

100.0 million passengers

Based in: Beijing, Municipality of Beijing, China
Established in: 1958

IATA Code: PEK
Airline hub for: Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines

No other country in the world has built and renovated as many airports during the last two decades as China has. The country’s biggest airport, the Beijing Capital International Airport, has been renovated and extended in 2008 for the 2008 Summer Olympics. It has been Asia’s biggest and busiest airport ever since. With around exactly 100 million passengers flying to or from China’s capital airport, it was number 2 among the world’s busiest airports last year. Yet for the capital city’s needs, this is still not enough. Therefore a new airport is set to open later this year, which is supposed to accommodate 72 million passengers by 2025 and eventually even more than 100 million passengers by 2040.


3. Los Angeles International Airport

Los Angeles Airport LAX
Source: D Ramey Logan / Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

88.1 million passengers

Based in: Los Angeles, California, USA
Established in: 1930

IATA Code: LAX
Airline hub for: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines

The city of Hollywood, stars and glamour is also home to America’s second busiest airport and at the same time to the fourth busiest airport in the world. LA’s airport saw 88.1 million passengers come and go in 2019. The airport is, at that, not only important as a destination airport, but also plays a big role as a hub airport, especially for flights to and from East Asia.


4. Dubai International Airport

Dubai Airport
Source: Umair Shaikh / Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

86.4 million passengers

Based in: Dubai, Emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Established in: 1960

IATA Code: DXB
Airline hub for: Fly Emirates, flydubai

Dubai over the last few decades has grown into a global city of importance, both in terms of tourism and economy. The largest city in the relatively small United Arab Emirates attracts tourists and expats from all around the world. No wonder that the city’s airport is now the third busiest airport on Earth. Around 86.4 million passengers flied to or from Dubai in 2019.


5. Tokyo Haneda Airport

tokyo airport
Source: Pyzhou / Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

85.5 million passengers

Based in: Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
Established in: 1931

IATA Code: HND
Airline hub for: Air Do, All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Skymark Airlines, Solaseed Air, StarFlyer

For a long time the most important airport on the Asian continent, Tokyo’s Haneda Airport is “only” the third busiest airport in Asia these days, but still fifth among the busiest airports in the world. With around 85.5 million passengers having used the airport in 2019, the airport has fallen slightly behind Los Angeles and Dubai in terms of numbers of passengers now.


6. O’Hare International Airport

Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) Aerial View | Flickr
Source: Jun Seita / Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

84.4 million passengers

Based in: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Established in: 1944

IATA Code: ORD
Airline hub for: American Airlines, United Airlines


7. London Heathrow Airport

Departure | Heathrow Airport, London. An Airbus A380 operateā€¦ | Flickr
Source: Mike McBey / Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

80.8 million passengers

Based in: London, England, UK
Established in: 1929

IATA Code: LHR
Airline hub for: British Airways


8. Shanghai Pudong International Airport

busiest airports - number 9
Source: OTCPD

76.2 million passengers

Based in: Shanghai, Municipality of Shanghai, China
Established in: 1999

IATA Code: PVG
Airline hub for: Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Juneyao Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Spring Airlines


9. Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport

top 10 busiest airports in the world
Source: Dmitry Avdeev / Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

76.1 million passengers

Based in: Roissy-en-France, Ile-de-France, France
Established in: 1974

IATA Code: CDG
Airline hub for: Air France


10. Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport

busiest airports number 8 hong kong
Source: Todd MacDonald / Licensed under CC BY 2.0

75.1 million passengers

Based in: Dallas, Texas, USA
Established in: 1973

IATA Code: DFW
Airline hub for: American Airlines, Ameriflight


The 10 Busiest Airports in the World

(Based on data for 2019)

Top 10 Busiest Airports in the World:
1. HARTSFIELD-JACKSON ATLANTA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
110.5 million passengers
2. BEIJING CAPITAL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Beijing, Municipality of Beijing, China
100.0 million passengers
3. LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Los Angeles, California, USA
88.1 million passengers
4. DUBAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Dubai, Emirate of Dubai, UAE
86.4 million passengers
5. TOKYO HANEDA AIRPORT
Tokyo, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
85.5 million passengers
6. O’HARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Chicago, Illinois, USA
84.4 million passengers
7. LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT
London, England, UK
80.8 million passengers
8. SHANGHAI PUDONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Shanghai, Municipality of Shanghai, China
76.2 million passengers
9. PARIS-CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT
Roissy-en-France, Ile-de-France, France
76.1 million passengers
10. DALLAS/FORT WORTH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Dallas, Texas, USA
75.1 million passengers


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