About 4.5 billion people flew in 2021, according to the latest report from Airports Council International (ACI). That may seem a lot in itself, but it was about half of the 9.1 billion who flew in 2019.

The world’s 10 busiest airports

Atlanta is once again the world’s busiest airport, regaining the top spot after falling to second in 2020. It ended last year with 75.7 million passengers and was one of eight US airports in the top ten list, as shown below.

Two airports in China also feature. Like all airports in the table, their traffic levels were lower than in 2019. However, they are also lower than in 2020, showing just how badly affected the country continues to be.

The top-ten airports in 2021 all had significant domestic operations, benefiting from the much higher demand than international given far fewer restrictions. The importance of leisure places is also clear to see. Orlando was 7th (up from 31st in 2019) and Las Vegas 10th (from 30th). Read more