DALLAS – Airports Council International (ACI) has released its preliminary rankings for the world’s busiest airports for 2021, with Atlanta, Dallas, and Denver taking the top spots. For the year, eight of the world’s ten busiest airports were in the United States, while two were in China.
Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) took the top spot as the busiest airport in the world with 75,704,760 passengers using the airport in 2021. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) comes in second place with 62,465,756 passengers served.
Denver International Airport (DEN) was the third-busiest airport in the United States and the third-busiest airport in the world for the year, based on total passenger traffic. According to DEN, this represents the highest ever global ranking for the airport, with 58,828,552 passengers passing thru its gates in 2021.
Chicago-O’Hare Airport (ORD) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) came in at 4th and 5th place, serving 54,020,399 and 48,007,284 passengers, respectively.
Denver Moves up Two Spots
Prior to the pandemic, DEN’s fifth-place US position was steady, but in two years, the airport overcame both ORD and LAX to take third place and fourth in the world for total yearly aircraft movements.
Denver’s number three rating can be ascribed to the high demand for domestic travel during the pandemic, as well as the Mile High City’s favorable geographic location, which facilitates linking passenger traffic flows. In 2021, DEN was the busiest airport for Frontier (F9), Southwest Airlines (WN), and United Airlines (UA).
“Despite the challenges, DEN has shown resiliency through the pandemic and has proven why Denver is such an important hub for our airline partners,” said DEN CEO Phil Washington. “As we continue to recover from the pandemic, we remain committed to working collaboratively with our airlines to expand DEN’s air service network providing even more travel options to and from Denver.”
Featured image: Atlanta International Airport