Airports Council International (ACI) World has released the top ten busiest airports in the world for 2021, indicating hopeful signs of traffic recovery as several prior biggest airports re-join the top rankings.

The world airport rankings are based on an initial collection of 2021 global statistics from airports worldwide. Because of ACI's reach as the world's airport trade association, the rankings represent the most up-to-date airport statistics utilised by the industry and include passenger traffic, cargo volumes, and aircraft movements.

Cargo and aircraft movements
Air freight, which was less affected by COVID-19, saw its volumes rise by about 15% year on year (+3.5% against 2019), reaching a projected record 124 million metric tonnes in 2021.

Air cargo volumes at the top ten airports increased 12.4 percent year on year in 2021, accounting for about 25 percent (34.2 million metric tonnes) of worldwide volumes in 2021. (or 15.0 percent vs. 2019 results). The increase can be ascribed to the ongoing rise in demand for online consumer items and medicinal products.

Hong Kong International Airport (HKG, 5.0 million metric tonnes, +12.5 percent) reclaimed first place, while Memphis International Airport (MEM, 4.5 million metric tonnes, -2.9 percent) reclaimed second place, followed by Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG, 4.0 million metric tonnes, +8.0 percent).

According to ACI World, there will be over 69 million worldwide aircraft movements in 2021, a more than 12% increase over 2020. The top ten airports account for about 8% of worldwide traffic (5.3 million movements) and recorded a 33.9 percent year-over-year increase, despite a 16.1 percent reduction in 2019.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL, 708 thousand movements, +29.1%), Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD, 684 thousand, +27.1%), and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW, 652 thousand, +26.7%) are the top three. The top ten airports for aircraft movements are all located in the United States.

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