Airports Council International (ACI) World has today unveiled the preliminary top 10 busiest airports worldwide for 2023 with Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) remaining in top rank followed by Memphis International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Anchorage Airport ranks 4th and is followed by Incheon International Airport in 5th.

HKIA handled 4,331,976 (4.3 million) tonnes of cargo in 2023, an increase of 3.2 percent YoY while down by 9.9 percent compared to 2019.

"Air cargo volumes are estimated to have decreased by 3.1 percent year-over-year (-4.6 percent versus 2019), to close to 113 million metric tonnes in 2023. Air cargo volumes in the top 10—representing around 26 percent (29.6 million metric tonnes) of the global volumes in 2023—lost 3.5 percent in 2023 year-over-year. The decline can be attributed to the ongoing geopolitical tensions and disruptions to global trade and supply chains," it reads.

ACI World director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira said, “Notably, cargo continues to play a key role in world commerce despite the year-over-year decrease. Hong Kong International Airport has maintained the top position, followed by Memphis International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Doha International Airport rejoins the top 10, jumping to number 8 with a growth of 6.3% over 2019.

“The rankings highlight the crucial role these transportation hubs play in global connectivity, commerce, and economic development. Airports continue to demonstrate their resilience and adaptability amidst the challenges posed by the ever-evolving landscape of global travel. ACI World remains dedicated to advocating for airports worldwide throughout pivotal stages of policy formulation and to advancing the pursuit of airport excellence.”

Airport rankings are based on data gathered from over 2,600 airports across more than 180 countries and territories globally. This vast dataset places ACI World in a distinctive position as the foremost authority on airport travel demand, ensuring the utmost accuracy and reliability in its rankings.

In a separate release, Hong Kong Airport noted, "In response to the rapid rise of e-commerce, an array of developments are progressing full steam at HKIA to capture the tremendous opportunities. In 2023, HKIA saw the completion of the Cainiao Smart Gateway, developed by Alibaba Group’s logistics arm, and the expansion of DHL’s Central Asia Hub which increases its capacity by 50%. Meanwhile, United Parcel Service has announced their plan to establish a new hub facility at HKIA."

Jack So, chairman of Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), said, “We are proud to have claimed once again the top spot for air cargo throughput. This accomplishment demonstrates HKIA’s resilience, unparalleled efficiency and world-class cargo services. Air cargo is a key driver of the growth of Hong Kong’s logistics industry and overall economic development. AAHK shall continue to work tirelessly with our air cargo community to further strengthen HKIA’s competitiveness as a global cargo hub.”

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