London Heathrow Airport has made a remarkable recovery from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to new data from Airports Council International (ACI) World, Heathrow is now one of the ten busiest airports in the world. The airport’s ranking had previously fallen to 54 due to the pandemic, but it has now jumped up to 8th place. This remarkable feat was achieved as Heathrow saw 61.6 million passengers pass through its gates in 2022, which is a staggering 217% increase on the 2021 figures.
The ACI World director general, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, expressed his delight at the news. He explained that it represents a significant milestone for the aviation industry as it returns to pre-pandemic levels. The report also highlights the strong performance of other global hubs, such as Dubai, Istanbul, and Paris.
The aviation industry has been severely impacted by the pandemic. Many airports and airlines faced significant financial losses due to reduced passenger numbers. However, the ACI report provides a much-needed glimmer of hope. International passenger traffic rose by more than 50% in 2022, reaching nearly seven billion and almost three-quarters of the levels seen in 2019.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International in Georgia, USA, has retained its position at the top of the list. The airport welcomed a whopping 93.6 million flyers. The report also indicates that there were 89 million aircraft movements in 2022, up by over 20% from the previous year.
De Oliveira attributes this recovery to the resilience of the airport and aviation industry. He also expressed confidence that the reopening of China, the second-largest aviation market after the US, will push these numbers higher.
Overall, the ACI report provides much-needed optimism for the aviation industry as it shows a strong recovery.
Top 10 Busiest Airports According to Data From Airports Council International (ACI)
According to preliminary data from Airports Council International (ACI) World, the top 10 busiest airports in the world for 2022 are:
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, Georgia (ATL): 93.7 million passengers; up 23.8% from 2021
2. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (DFW): 73.4 million passengers; up 17.5% from 2021
3. Denver, Colorado (DEN): 69.3 million passengers; up 17.8% from 2021
4. Chicago O’Hare, Illinois (ORD): 68.3 million passengers; up 26.5% from 2021
5. Dubai, United Arab Emirates (DXB): 66.1 million passengers; up 127% from 2021
6. Los Angeles, California (LAX): 65.9 million passengers; up 37.3% from 2021
7. Istanbul, Turkey (IST): 64.3 million passengers; up 73.8% from 2021
8. London Heathrow, United Kingdom (LHR): 61.6 million passengers; up 217.7% from 2021
9. Delhi, India (DEL): 59.5 million passengers; up 60.2% from 2021
10. Paris Charles de Gaulle, France (CDG): 57.5 million passengers; up 119.4% from 2021