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Four airports from Mediterranean countries make it into the Top 10 of international air traffic


Written by Eric Apim on Tuesday, April 12th 2022 à 11:24 | Read 179 times


Mediterranean countries are doing well in the international traffic segment, with four of their airports making it into the Top 10 of ACI World's global airport rankings.


Istanbul airport ranks second in the Top 10 for international departing and arriving passengers (photo: F.Dubessy)
Istanbul airport ranks second in the Top 10 for international departing and arriving passengers (photo: F.Dubessy)
MEDITERRANEAN. The 2021 ranking of the world's airports in terms of passengers, published on Monday 11 April 2022 by Airports Council International (ACI World), "tells the story of an encouraging recovery trend with most of the airports generally the busiest before Covid-19 back at the top", according to Luis Felige de Oliveira. ACI's managing director says, while remaining "cautious as the recovery could face multiple headwinds", that "the momentum created by countries' reopening plans could lead to increased travel in the second half of 2022."

Mediterranean countries are doing well in the international traffic segment, with five of their airports in the top 10. With 26.46 million international passengers in 2021, Istanbul Airport is second only to Dubai (29.11 million) in this category. Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle (down one place from 2020) is in fifth place, Antalya (17.14 million) in eighth. In ninth place is Madrid with 15.33 million international passengers.

The biggest year-on-year increases are recorded by the two Turkish hubs with, respectively, +160.4% for Antalya and +66% for Istanbul. In the top 10, only London Heathrow saw a drop in international passenger traffic (-14.7%) compared to 2020. All of them, however, show a double-digit decrease compared to 2019 (see table below). The consequences of the health crisis are thus far from being resolved in this sector.

4.5 billion air passengers carried in 2021

International traffic is all down on 2019 (table: ACI World)
International traffic is all down on 2019 (table: ACI World)
All passenger traffic combined, the US hubs take the lion's share of traffic with only two Chinese incursions. The ranking is dominated by Atlanta-Hartsfield Jackson with 75.7 million passengers. Dallas Fort Worth (62.5 million), Denver (58.8 million), Chicago O'Hare (54.02 million), Los Angeles (48 million), Charlotte (43.3 million), Orlando (40.35 million), Guangzhou-Baiyun (40.25 million), Chengdu (40.11 million) and Las Vegas (39.75 million) follow.

The cumulative traffic of this Top 10 represents 10% of world traffic, or 463 million passengers. It is 51.8% higher than in 2020, but 29.1% lower than in 2019.

According to ACI, nearly 4.5 billion passengers flew in 2021, an increase of nearly 25% compared to 2020, but a decrease of more than 50% compared to 2019.



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