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How’s your world ranking? The global Top 10 airports

7-Apr-2008
  • Global Top Ten airports (in terms of passengers) was fairly steady in 2007 – Paris and Madrid moved up;
  • Madrid now tenth busiest airport globally – up from 22nd in 2000, but ascent could slow with expected LCC consolidation in Spain in 2008;
  • Hong Kong poised to reclaim 14th spot from Las Vegas this year;
  • New York JFK may drift lower in 2008 on congestion and US downturn;
  • Dubai surges into 27th position in 2007 and poised to enter Top 20 this year.

The global Top Ten airports, in terms of total passenger throughput in 2007 was fairly steady, with only Paris CDG and Dallas/Ft Worth changing places, with Paris moving up from sixth to fifth busiest.

The big mover was Madrid (again), which entered the global Top Ten for the first time in 2007. It has been a remarkable performance by the Spanish hub, which has risen from 13th position in 2006 and 22nd in 2000. But growth rates (+14.0% in 2007) could slow this year as consolidation looks increasingly likely in the loss-making Spanish LCC sector.

Just over 3 million passengers separated 11th to 15th place on the world rankings in 2007. Hong Kong is poised to reclaim 14th spot from Las Vegas this year, which drifted from 11th place in 2006 to 14th in 2007 with just 3% growth, after surging up the rankings earlier in the decade. New York JFK’s growth (+12.2% in 2007) may be capped this year with congestion issues and the general downturn affecting the US market.

Similarly, less than 2 million passengers separated 19th to 26th place in 2007, with fast-charging Dubai (27th position in 2007 with 34.4 million passengers, up 19.3%) poised to surge into the global Top 20 in 2008, with over 40 million passengers predicted. Emirates aims to become the largest long-haul airline in the world by 2012, when it carries 33 million passengers. The Dubai-based airline, which launched services to its 100th destination – Cape Town – last week, currently has 114 aircraft in service and a further 243 on order.

Global Top 20 airports: 2007

  2007 Pax Percent change 2007 rank 2008 rank
Atlanta
89.4
5.3
1
1
Chicago
76.2
-0.2
2
2
London LHR
68.1
0.8
3
3
Tokyo HND
66.7
1.3
4
4
Los Angeles
61.9
1.4
5
5
Paris CDG
59.9
5.4
6
7
Dallas Ft Worth
59.8
-0.7
7
6
Frankfurt
54.2
2.6
8
8
Beijing
53.7
9.4
9
9
Madrid
52.1
14
10
13
Denver
49.9
5.4
11
10
New York JFK
47.8
12.2
12
16
Amserdam
47.8
3.7
13
12
Las Vegas
47.6
3
14
11
Hong Kong
47.0
7.2
15
14
Houston
43.0
1
16
15
Phoenix
42.2
1.8
17
17
Bangkok
41.2
-3.7
18
-
Singapore
36.7
4.8
19
21
Newark
36.4
1.8
20
20

Source: Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation & ACI

From the History Vault:
T
he 2006 ‘How’s your world ranking?’ report

Some of the leading airports have seen their global rankings (in terms of passenger traffic) slip, while others are surging through the pack, according to the latest ACI data for 2006.

Atlanta remains the busiest airport in the world (handling just under 85 million passengers last year), but Beijing (9th, 48.5 million) has entered the global Top 10 for the first time, while Jakarta (30th, 30.9 million) has surged into the Top 30. Indeed, Jakarta was ranked 91st in the world in 2000, demonstrating the incredible increase in traffic in that country. Beijing was ranked 42nd in 2000.

Los Angeles has slipped from third to fifth since 2000, with Tokyo Haneda (4th in 2006, 65.2 million) and London Heathrow (3rd in 2006, 67.5 million) edging ahead. Most of the Asian advances have been at the expense of US airports. This trend is expected to continue, as Asian traffic growth rates outpace the global average.

- Airport Business Daily, March 2007


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