After 22 years, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport dethroned as world’s busiest


GUANGZHOU, CHINA: Passengers are seen in the lobby of Baiyun international airport on the outskirts of Guangzhou, 25 November 2004. Baiyun international airport will be capable of handling an annual 25 million tourists and business travellers servicing China’s third-largest city. The airport, estimated to have cost some 2.4 billion USD to build, opened in August 2004 after repeated delays due to problems during “operational rehearsals”. AFP PHOTO/MIKE CLARKE (Photo credit should read MIKE CLARKE/AFP via Getty Images)

ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — Move over Atlanta! The world has a new busiest airport.

According to the Airports Council International, Guangzhou Bai Yun International Airport in China recorded the most passenger traffic in 2020, with Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport just behind.

Overall, global traffic at the world’s top 10 busiest airports decreased by 45.7% last year. Across the board, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, passenger traffic decreased by 64.6% at the world’s airports.

In terms of rankings, China claims seven of the top 10 busiest airports while the U.S. can boast being home to three. The ACI’s preliminary report covers passenger traffic, cargo volumes and aircraft movements for 2020. Domestic air travel has been on the uptick while international air travel remains depressed due to international travel restrictions.

“The data published today reveals the challenge airports continue to face and it remains imperative that the industry is supported through direct support and sensible policy decisions from governments to ensure that aviation can endure, rebuild connectivity, and fuel a global economic recovery,” said ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 20: A vacant terminal B is shown at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on April 20, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the cancellation and consolidation of flights across the globe. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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