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on the fly: The world’s busiest airports

January 26, 2022

Which are the world’s busiest airports ranked by Available Seat Miles and relative to 2020 and 2019?

Analytics on the fly

The world’s busiest airports

Measuring by ASMs incorporates both seat counts and flight distances, which tends to push longhaul airports like Los Angeles International Airport and Dubai International Airport further up the rankings.

Globally, ASMs last year were down 46% from 2019 levels but up 11% from 2020, which was year number one of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Measured by seats alone, or by number of flights, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport were the world’s busiest airports last year.

The best performing airport on this list, relative to 2019, is Denver International Airport, a key market for United, Southwest and Frontier (and a city whose economy is growing rapidly). Denver’s ASMs were down just 11% from two years ago. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has fared similarly.

As for the worst performers relative to 2019, note that Beijing’s large drop was partly due to to the opening of a new airport. Shanghai Pudong fared poorly, as did London Heathrow and San Francisco.

Jan-21-Worlds-busiest-airports
Diio by Cirium


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