Passengers walk through Terminal A at Orlando International Airport on Christmas Day, Saturday, December 25, 2021.
Stephen M. Doyle | Orlando Sentinel | Getty Images
U.S. airports created eight of the world’s 10 busiest hubs last year, according to a new ranking released Monday, displacing some of the world’s busiest international hubs during the epidemic as a result of a leap in domestic leisure travel.
Delta Air Lines hub Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest before the epidemic, topped the Airport Council International’s 2021 preliminary rankings with 75.7 million passengers last year. Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport, the main airline of American Airlines, is in second place with 62.6 million passengers.
Denver International Airport ranked third last year with 58.8 million passengers, eighth in 2020 and 16th in 2019. Orlando International Airport has risen to seventh place with 40.3 million passengers – a big improvement after ranking 27th in 2020 and 31st in 2019.
The rankings show how international travel was stagnant last year even though some countries, including the United States, have relaxed epidemic travel restrictions.
Domestic U.S. leisure travel has been a bright spot in the epidemic for the country’s airlines, although executives say they expect demand for at least trans-Atlantic travel to be strong this spring and summer. However, new lockdowns in China have raised doubts about a resurgence of demand there.
In 2019, the airports in Beijing, Dubai and Tokyo are ranked second, third and fifth, respectively. Dubai topped the international passenger traffic rankings last year. The other two hubs did not cut.
Here is the 2021 ranking (including the 2019 ranking in brackets):
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (1)
- Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport (10)
- Denver International Airport (16)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (6)
- Los Angeles International Airport (3)
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina (34)
- Orlando International Airport (31)
- Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, Guangzhou, China (11)
- Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, Chengdu, China (24)
- Harry Reed International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada (30)