Covid Reshuffled The World’s Busiest Airports, Knocking Atlanta Off Its 22-Year Perch At No. 1

covid reshuffled the worlds busiest airports knocking atlanta off its 22 year perch at no 1

Guangdog Baiyun International Airport was the busiest in the world last year. (Photo by Chen Jimin)

China News Service via Getty Images

After 22 years as the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was bumped to the no. 2 position in 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted air travel and wiped a staggering 65% of passenger traffic from the world’s airports.

Seven of the top 10 busiest airports last year were in China and three in the United States, according to data from Airports Council International (ACI) World.

Covid impacted movement around the world, but not equally, and the 2020 rankings reflect which airports did the least badly in a terrible year. Guangzhou Bai Yun International Airport in China recorded the most passenger traffic last year, leaping from the no. 11 spot in 2019 though its 43.8 million passengers was down 40% from the previous year. Another Chinese airport, Shanghai Hongqiao International, saw a less severe 34.2% drop, which allowed it to skyrocket from its no. 46 ranking in 2019 to no. 9 in 2020.

“The impact of the COVID-19 on global passenger traffic pandemic brought aviation to a virtual standstill in 2020 and we continue to face an existential threat,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said…

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