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International Travel Returns International Travel Returns

International Travel Returns: Top 10 Busiest Airports in the World Revealed

Airports Council International (ACI) World has recently published the top 10 busiest airports worldwide for 2022, which welcomes back some of the world’s largest airport hubs as international traffic returns, marking an important milestone in air travel’s full recovery from the impact of the pandemic.  

Preliminary figures indicate that with the resumption of international travel, 2022 global passenger traffic reached close to seven billion, representing an increase of 53.5 percent from 2021, or a 73.8 percent recovery from 2019 results.

 The top 10 airports for total passenger traffic, representing 10 percent of global traffic, witnessed a gain of 51.7 percent from 2021 amounting to 85.9 percent recovery vis-à-vis their 2019 results.

 Holding their positions from 2021, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL, 93.7 million passengers, +23.8 percent) is at the top of the 2022 rankings, followed by Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW, 73.4 million passengers, +17.5%), Denver Airport (DEN, 69.3 million passengers, +17.8%), and Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD, 68.3 million passengers, +26.5%).

 From the top 10 airports globally, five are in the US. They all have significant domestic passenger shares (between 75 percent and 95 percent domestic traffic).

 Airports reinstated in the upper ranks also include Dubai Airport achieving fifth rank (DXB, 66.1 million passengers, +127 percent), Istanbul Airport reaching seven positions (IST, 64.3 million passengers, +73.8 percent), followed by London Heathrow Airport, Delhi Airport, and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in the eighth, ninth, and 10th spots respectively.

 The biggest jump in the top 10 was recorded for London Heathrow (LHR). The airport improved its ranking from the 54th position as borders reopened in March 2022 after two years of closures. 


2022 global aircraft movements are close to 89 million, constituting a gain of 20.4 percent from 2021 results. This represents a recovery of 82.5 percent from pre-pandemic levels (2019). 

The top 10 airports for aircraft movements, representing close to seven percent of global traffic (5.7 million movements), witnessed a gain of 11.4 percent from their 2021 results, recovering to 91.5 percent vis-à-vis their 2019 results (6.2 million in 2019). 

ATL is at the top with 724 thousand movements (+2.3 percent from 2021) but still below its 2019 result of 904 thousand movements (-19.9 percent). ORD (712 thousand movements, +4 percent) is in second rank after leading ATL in 2019 and 2018, followed by DFW (657 thousand movements, +0.7 percent).