Home » Aviation, Breaking News » World’s 10 busiest airports post historic declines in 1H—report

The world’s 10 busiest airports suffered dramatic declines in global passenger traffic in the first half of 2020, illustrating the catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report.

Airports Council International (ACI World) in its latest World Airport Traffic Report said Atlanta and Beijing held the top two places as the world’s busiest airports in 2019, with robust passenger traffic of 110.53 million and 100.01 million, respectively.

But by the end of the first half year of 2020, these airports have suffered declines of 56.6% and 73.6%, respectively, compared to the first half of 2019, representing the sharpest decline in the industry’s history, initial data shows.

Los Angeles, which moved up one spot to take third, tumbled 58.9%. The others in the top 10 registered falls as follows: Dubai in fourth place, -56.4%; Tokyo, -59.2%; Chicago, -57.6%; London, -60.2%; Shanghai, -68.1%; Paris, -61.4%; and Dallas/Fort Worth, -48.2%.

Combined global passenger traffic for the top 10 airports declined by 60.2% in the first half of 2020 as against the same period in 2019.

After a decade of consistent growth, overall airport passenger numbers across the world decreased in the first half of 2020 by 58.4% compared to the same period in 2019, with international passenger traffic hit the hardest, recording a 64.5% drop, said ACI.

For full-year 2019, passenger numbers are estimated to have surpassed 9.1 billion, an increase of 3.5% compared to 2018. Airport traffic in emerging markets and developing economies grew slightly faster (+3.9%) than in advanced economies (+3.1%). Africa (+6.0%) and Latin America-Caribbean (+4.4%) posted strong growth of all regions in passenger traffic.

“From a period of sustained global growth in 2019, the aviation industry now faces the worst crisis we have ever confronted with huge declines in passenger traffic and revenues due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” ACI World director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira said.

“Last year marked the end of a decade of consistent growth in global passenger traffic before the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has brought airports around the world to a virtual standstill, resulting in airport traffic and revenue losses across all regions,” said the report.

Meanwhile, overall aircraft movements declined by 41.6% while total cargo volumes handled by airports decreased by 12.4% in the first six months of 2020 as against the first half of 2019.

The world’s airports handled 119.9 million metric tonnes of cargo in 2019, a decrease of 2.2% compared to 2018. Advanced economies held the largest proportion (60.8%) of global cargo traffic, handling 73 million metric tonnes in 2019. Globally, airports also handled more than 102 million aircraft movements, an increase of 1.7% year-over-year.

The top 10 airports in cargo traffic in 2019 were Hong Kong, Memphis, Shanghai, Louisville, Incheon, Anchorage, Dubai, Doha, Taipei, and Tokyo.

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

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