Airports Council International (ACI) has released the latest edition of the World Airport Traffic Report. International tourism was irrepressible in 2014 considering the geopolitical risks that have persisted in certain parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe and the Middle East. However international traveller in 2014 appears to have been immune to these potential dangers and overall global passenger traffic grew at a rate of over 5%. This is above the 4.3% average annual growth rate in passenger traffic from 2004 to 2014.
Worldwide airport passenger numbers increased by 5.7% in 2014 to over 6.7 billion, registering increases in all six regions.
Atlanta (ATL) remains the world's busiest airport on the globe with 96 million passengers in 2014. Traffic at the airport was up 1.9% over 2013 while the second ranked Beijing (PEK), with 86 million passengers, experienced more subdued growth of 2.9% in 2014 as compared to the double-digit growth it had achieved in previous years.
Airport traffic in emerging markets and developing economies experienced growth of 8%, whereas airports in advanced economies grew by 4% in 2014, with emerging markets reaching a 43% share of global passenger traffic.
During 2014, the highest number of passengers went through airports in the Asia-Pacific region:
1. Asia-Pacific (2.3 billion, up 7.1% over 2013)
2. Europe (1.8 billion, up 5.5% over 2013)
3. North America (1.6 billion, up 3.2% over 2013)
4. Latin America-Caribbean (531 million, up 6.4% over 2013)
5. Middle East (308 million, up 10.8% over 2013)
6. Africa (180 million, up 2.7% over 2013)
With over 1.4 billion passengers, BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), which represent 21% of global passenger traffic, achieved strong growth of 9% in passenger traffic. MINT countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) also achieved robust traffic growth, with a 7.2% increase for passenger traffic in 2014.
Although Dubai (DXB) is the sixth-busiest airport in the world in overall passenger traffic, it became the world's busiest in terms of international passenger traffic, ahead of London-Heathrow (LHR), in 2014.
Istanbul (+10.5%) remains one of the fastest-growing airports among the world's top 30 airports for passenger traffic, moving from 18th to 13th rank.
The world's top 30 airport cities handle more than one-third of global passenger traffic. London remains the world's largest airport system with almost 147 million passengers handled at six airports in and around the metropolitan area. New York maintains the second position with 116 million passengers at three airports. Tokyo is the third city market with 109 million passengers.
The world's busiest international airports (international passenger traffic):
1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates – DXB (69.9 million, up 6.2% over 2013)
2. London, United Kingdom – LHR (68.1 million, up 1.1% over 2013)
3. Hong Kong, China – HKG (62.9 million, up 6.1% over 2013)
The world's busiest domestic airports (domestic passenger traffic):
1. Atlanta GA, USA – ATL (85.4 million, up 1.5% over 2013)
2. Beijing, China – PEK (68.9 million, up 5.4% over 2013)
3. Tokyo, Japan – HND (62.2 million, up 2.1% over 2013)