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Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa airports missing from busiest airports ranking

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Abiola Seun

Nigeria and other African Countries are missing from the list of top 10 busiest airports worldwide for 2021, according to a report released by Airports Council International (ACI).

ACI, the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation.

The world airport rankings are based on the preliminary compilation of 2021 global data from airports around the world.

Due to ACI’s reach as the trade association of the world’s airports, the rankings reflect the most updated airport data used by the industry and include passenger traffic, cargo volumes, and aircraft movements.

Total global passengers in 2021 are estimated to be close to 4.5 billion, representing an increase of almost 25percent from 2020, or a drop of more than 50 percent from 2019 results.

Passenger traffic at the top 10 busiest airports, representing collectively almost 10 percent of global traffic (463 million passengers), witnessed a gain of 51.8percent from 2020, or a drop of 29.1percent vis-à-vis their 2019 results.

The airports are, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson (ATL); Dallas/forth worth (US); Denver (US); Chicago O’ Hare (US); Los Angeles international Airport (US); Charlotte Douglas international Airport.

Others are, Orlando international Airport; Guangzho Baiyun International Airport; Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and Las Vegas airport.

According to ACI, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL, 75.7 million passengers, +76.4%) is back at the top of 2021 rankings, followed by Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW, 62.5 million passengers, +58.7%), and Denver International Airport (DEN, 58.8 million passengers, +74.4%).

After reaching the top rank in 2020, Guangzhou Bai Yun International Airport (CAN, 40.3 million passengers, -8.0%) slid to the eighth position in 2021.

Eight of the top 10 airports for passenger traffic are in the United States with the two remaining in China.

All top 10 airports have a significant share of domestic traffic, the traffic segment that has been leading global recovery.

The biggest improvement recorded was from Orlando International Airport (MCO, 40.4 million passengers, +86.7%) which jumped from 27th position in 2020 to the seventh spot in 2021.

ACI, World Director General, Luis Felipe de Oliveira said, “The ACI World passenger traffic rankings tell the story of an encouraging trend of recovery, with most of the recurrent busiest airports pre-COVID-19 back at the top.”

“Although we are cautious that recovery could face multiple headwinds, the momentum created by reopening plans by countries could lead to an uptick in travel in the second half of 2022.

“As such, ACI World continues to advocate to governments to follow the data and ease travel restrictions to safely restore the movement of people, goods, and services.

“This will provide travellers with more travel options and boost the overall recovery through aviation’s unique role in boosting trade, tourism, investment and creating jobs.”

ACI World also estimated that there were more than 69 million global aircraft movements in 2021, representing a gain of more than 12% from 2020.

 The top 10 airports represent close to 8% of global traffic (5.3 million movements) and experienced a gain of 33.9% year-over-year, but still representing a drop of 16.1% compared with 2019.

In terms of cargo, Hong Kong (HKG) took top spot with 5 million metric tonnes, up by 12.5% on 2020.

 Memphis (MEM) was second with 4.5 million metric tonnes, followed by Shanghai Pudong (PVG) in third with 4 million.

© 2022, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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