According to Airports Council International World, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States overcame Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China to reclaim the world’s busiest airport title in 2021.
Airports Council International World published a report listing the top 10 busiest airports worldwide for 2021 on Monday, Apr 11.
The Georgia-based Atlanta airport had previously topped the list for 22 consecutive years. However, it dropped to second place after its passenger volume in 2020 was overtaken by Guangdong Province-based Guangzhou Baiyun airport.
As the U.S. economy recovered, Atlanta Airport handled 75.7 million passengers in 2021. That figure is 76% higher than in 2020 but still nearly 32% below the pre-Covid pandemic figure in 2019.
Other U.S. airports ranked in the top 10 include Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas at No. 2 with about 62.5 million passengers, and Denver International Airport in Colorado at No. 3 with 58.8 million passengers. Chicago’s O’Hare and Los Angeles International Airport are the fourth and fifth.
The passenger volume of Guangzhou’s airport dropped from 1st to 8th with 40.3 million passengers.
China saw another airport in the top 10 in 2021, namely Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. This airport ranked 9th last year, down from 3rd in 2020.
Chinese airport operations dominated 2020. But in 2021, domestic flights plummeted as China re-locked down cities, while the U.S. saw a surge.
Last year, the U.S. enjoyed the world’s largest domestic travel market, and domestic travel recovered much faster than international travel.