- Feature

10 Busiest Airports in the World

Busiest Airports in the World

So fellow jet-setters, you will have noticed a sharp uptick in the number of passengers at your local international airport. If you flying Business Class, you will invariably have access to speedy check-in, fast track through security, customs & immigration and a lounge, which makes the start (or transit) of your journey so much more pleasant! Some airports - Changi in Singapore and Incheon in Korea for instance - are destinations within themselves offering cinemas, hotels, ice rinks, spas, gardens, art galleries and even casinos!

A report out shows that globally, passenger traffic in 2023 grew by 27% from 2022 to reach nearly 94% of 2019 results (pre-pandemic). Total passenger figures for 2023 stands at around 8.5 billion - according to Airports Council International (API).

a plane at the airport

And, it's international travel that is driving growth - up 37% year on year although still 10% shy of the 2019 figures. Dubai - home to Emirates - is the leading airport for international passengers - but it's still second for overall numbers with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (USA) - home to Delta - at the top.

London Heathrow is still the top European airport with Istanbul following closely behind. In Asia, Tokyo Haneda and Delhi handle the most passengers respectively. Japan has only recently reopened to foreign travellers and they have been arriving there in droves.

The guide to the World’s Top 10 Busiest Airports - for passenger traffic - in 2023:


1.  Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Georgia, USA (ATL):  104.7 million passengers - up 11.7% from 2022 - based: Delta Air Lines

2.  Dubai, United Arab Emirates (DXB):  87 million passengers - up 31.7% from 2022 - base: Emirates

3.  Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, USA (DFW): 81.8 million passengers - up 11.4% from 2022 - base: Southwest Airlines - major hub for American Airlines

4.  London Heathrow, England (LHR): 79.2 million passengers - up 28.5% from 2022 -  base: British Airways

5.  Tokyo Haneda, Japan (HND): 78.7 million passengers - up 55.1% from 2022 - base: JAL

6.  Denver, Colorado, USA (DEN): 77.8 million passengers - up 12.3% from 2022 - base: Frontier - hub for United Airlines

7.  Istanbul, Turkey (IST): 76 million passengers - up 18.3% from 2022 - base: Turkish Airlines

8.  Los Angeles, California, USA (LAX): 75.1 million passengers - up 13.8% from 2022 - hub for Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines

9.  Chicago O’Hare, Illinois, USA (ORD): 73.9 million passengers - up 8.1% from 2022 - base: United Airlines

10. Delhi, India (DEL): 72.2 million passengers - up 21.4% from 2022 - base: Air India 

Selected others:

12. Paris, France (CDG): 67.4 million passengers - up 17.3% from 2022 - base: Air France

13. Guangzhou, China (CAN): 63.1 million passengers - up 142% from 2022 - base: China Southern Airlines

14. New York, USA: 62.4 million passengers - up 12.9% from 2022 - hub for American Airlines and Delta Air Lines 

37. Doha, Qatar: 45.9 million passengers - base: Qatar Airways

travellers at an airport

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