Dubai remains world’s busiest international airport

The latest ranking shows that the Dubai International Airport retained its position as the busiest airport of the world for international passengers in December.

In a latest report compiled by OAG, Dubai held on to the top spot in December with 4.6 million seats –representing an increase of 8 percent when compared with November.

However, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport continued to be the world’s busiest airport with 4.7 million seats, a 1 per cent increase compared to last month.

The top 10 busiest airports in the world rankings are calculated using total flight seat capacity (domestic and international) and the top 10 busiest international airports are calculated using international seats only.

During the process, the monthly rankings were calculated using airlines’ international seat capacity and international flight frequency in December 2022, compared with the same month in 2019 before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the third quarter of 2022, Dubai International Airport handled 18.5 million passengers, more than doubling year on year amid a bigger-than-expected rebound from the pandemic, according to operator Dubai Airports.

This was first time that quarterly traffic reached pre-pandemic levels since 2020, with the figure higher than the 17.8 million passengers who travelled through the airport in the first quarter of 2020 before the onset of Covid-19.

It recorded average monthly traffic exceeding the six million mark throughout the third quarter.

London’s Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Istanbul Airport and Singapore Changi Airport rounded off the top five busiest international airports, the data showed.

South Korea’s Incheon Airport increased capacity by 19 per cent this month compared to last month, marking the biggest increase in the top-10-ranked hubs. This has moved Incheon up one place to ninth for international flights.

As far as the world’s busiest airport is concerned, Dubai and Tokyo Haneda airports remain in second and third places respectively after Atlanta, with Dubai increasing capacity between November and December 2022 by 8 percent and Tokyo Haneda by 7 percent.

The Gulf hub benefitted from running smooth operations, compared with some major European airports that were left reeling from delays that caused widespread disruption as demand roared back after the pandemic.

London Heathrow remains in fourth place with a 4 percent increase in capacity this month and Dallas Fort Worth is in fifth place with a 5 percent capacity rise followed by Denver International at sixth.

Delhi moved up three places to seventh spot with a 6 percent increase in capacity this month. Chicago, Los Angeles and Istanbul airports have all moved down one place to eighth, ninth and 10th.

The airports which have seen their rankings rise, bringing them into the top 10 in December include Dallas Fort Worth (from 14th to fifth), Denver Airport (from 20th to sixth) and Istanbul Airport (from 19th to 10th), OAG said.

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