Chinese Airports Dominate Top 10 Busiest In 2020

Airports in China accounted for seven of the 10 busiest airports in the world in 2020, according to the latest data from ACI World, as domestic markets dominated airline schedules and passenger activity.

Former World Routes host Guangzhou (CAN) now tops the list, with its 2020 total of 43,767,558 passengers lifting it from 10th position. In 2019 only four of the top 10 airports were situated in China.

Conversely, US airports only accounted for three of the top 10, with previous top spot occupant Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson (ATL) slipping to second place with 42,918,558 passengers.

Overall, the COVID-19 outbreak reduced the number of airport passengers by more than 5.6 billion in 2020, and is expected to remove an additional 4.6 billion passengers by the end of 2021, compared to 2019 volumes, ACI World said.

Global passenger traffic in 2021 is only expected to reach 4.6 billion, half of the 9.2 billion passengers served in 2019.


“The impact of COVID-19 has completely altered the airport sector,” ACI World DG Luis Felipe de Oliveira said.

“The economic value driven by airports cannot be understated when it comes to facilitating business and leisure travel, trade, and the subsequent GDP, jobs, taxes, and associated social benefits.

“Air traffic is the lifeblood of the airport business, highlighting the necessity of government action to promote safe travel—including a coordinated and risk-based approach to testing and vaccination—rather than enforcing full-scale restrictions and blanket measures.”

Photo credit: Guangdong Airport Authority

Wesley Charnock

Wesley Charnock is Content Marketing Director for Aviation Week Network.