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These Are the Busiest Airports in the World, According to a New Ranking A surge in international and business travel has brought airports back to near pre-pandemic levels of passenger traffic.

By Emily Rella

Key Takeaways

  • A new report reveals the preliminary rankings of the busiest airports in the world for 2023.
  • An international hot spot jumped from No. 5 in 2022 to No.2 in 2023.
  • Global passenger traffic was roughly 8.5 billion people, up 27.2% year-over-year.
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Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The baggage claim area at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in Atlanta, Georgia, US, on Friday, Dec. 22, 2023.

As post-pandemic travel continues to ramp up, airports are booked and busy.

In fact, a new report by the Airports Council International released on Monday found that 2023 saw a total global passenger footprint of roughly 8.5 billion people, up 27.2% year-over-year and a recovery rate of 93.8% from pre-pandemic rankings in 2019.

The report revealed the preliminary rankings of the busiest airports in the world for 2023, and a new international hot spot has worked its way up to No. 2.

After gathering data from over 2,600 airports in over 180 countries and territories, the No. 1 busiest airport in the world is still Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Atlanta has held down the top spot for over 20 years, thanks to high passenger volume and Delta Airlines being headquartered in the city, catering to over 104.6 million passengers this past year.

Related: What Are the World's Busiest Airports? ATL Takes Top Spot

The second spot went to the Dubai Airport, which saw a 31.7% increase in passenger volume year over year, bringing through an estimated 87 million passengers in 2023. Last year, Dubai was ranked No. 5 on the list.

Travelers crowd a departure area in Dubai International Airport on March 06, 2024, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.Photo by Horacio Villalobos Corbis | Getty Images

The third spot goes to the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, which saw 81.75 million passengers in 2023, followed by London's Heathrow Airport (79.18 million passengers) and Tokyo's Haneda Airport (78.72 million passengers.)

"Global air travel in 2023 was chiefly fueled by the international segment, propelled by several factors. Among these were the anticipated benefits from China's reopening and a growing inclination towards travel despite macroeconomic conditions," ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said in a company release.

Of the top 10 busiest airports internationally, five were located in the U.S., with Denver International Airport coming in at No. 6, Los Angeles International Airport at No. 8, and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport at No. 9.

Related: Delta Most On-Time Airline, Air Canada Least: 2023 Report

The Top 10 Business Airports in the World, According to the Airports Council International

  1. Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
    104.6 million passengers in 2023
  2. Dubai Airport
    87 million passengers in 2023
  3. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
    81.75 million passengers in 2023
  4. London's Heathrow Airport
    79.18 million passengers in 2023
  5. Tokyo's Haneda Airport
    78.72 million passengers
  6. Denver International Airport
    77.84 million passengers in 2023
  7. London Heathrow Airport
    79. 18 million passengers in 2023
  8. Los Angeles International Airport
    75.05 million passengers in 2023
  9. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport
    73.89 million passengers in 2023
  10. New Delhi Airport (India)
    72.21 million passengers in 2023
Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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