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ACI NEWS Last modified on June 9, 2015

World in motion

ACI's preliminary traffic figures for 2014 confirm that Dubai (DXB) is now the world's busiest airport for international passenger traffic ahead of London-Heathrow, writes Patrick Lucas.

Based on reports from 1,095 airports worldwide, ACI’s preliminary passenger traffic results for 2014 show that the top four ranked positions with respect to the world’s busiest airports in overall passenger traffic have not changed as compared to 2013.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (+1.9%) continues to be the world’s busiest airport with over 96 million passengers in 2014. While Beijing Capital (+2.9%) was expected to close the gap, it no longer has double-digit growth as in previous years, placing it in second position.

London-Heathrow (+1.4%) remains in third while Tokyo-Haneda (+5.7%) preserves fourth position. However, Los Angeles (+6%) and Dubai (+6.1%) have moved ahead of Chicago-O’Hare (+4.6%), occupying the fifth and sixth rank respectively.

Although Dubai (DXB) is the sixth busiest airport in the world in overall passenger traffic, it has actually become the world’s busiest in terms of international passenger traffic ahead of London-Heathrow in 2014. Dubai was just shy of reaching the 70 million international passenger mark by the end of 2014.

Istanbul Atatürk (+10.7%) remains one of the fastest-growing airports among the world’s top 20 airports for passenger traffic, moving from 18th to 13th rank ahead of Amsterdam Schiphol (+4.6%).

The world’s largest air cargo hub continues to be Hong Kong (+6%). Memphis (+2.9%) is in second followed by Shanghai (+8.6%) and Incheon (+3.8%) in third and fourth rank respectively. Anchorage (+3%) moves up ahead of Dubai (-3.1%) to fifth position.

Chicago-O’Hare (-0.2%) has become the world’s busiest airport for aircraft movements following a drop in movements at the second ranked Atlanta (-4.7%) in 2014. Los Angeles (+1.7%) and Dallas/Fort Worth (+0.3%) maintain the third and fourth ranked positions respectively. Beijing Capital (+2.5%) moves ahead of Denver (-2.9%).

ACI World’s economics director, Rafael Echevarne, commented: “The airport that continued to make its mark in 2014 was Dubai International. 

The airport has solidified its status as the world’s major international connecting hub.

“Dubai is the fulcrum that connects long-haul international flights from east and west, north and south. That being said, its sister airport, Dubai World Central, under the same Dubai Airports organisation, is poised to surpass these feats by becoming the world’s largest global gateway with capacity of more than 160 million passengers per year and a multi-modal logistics hub for 12 million tonnes of air cargo.

“Since the commencement of its operations the airport has become the 29th busiest air cargo airport in the world, handling almost 760,000 metric tonnes of cargo in 2014. With its astonishing capacity and growth, aviation’s nucleus certainly has moved eastward.”

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