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Hub airports still more attractive, as Beijing's growth slows, affected by the economy and HSR


Airports Council International (ACI) has provisionally released its annual list of the world’s busiest airports for 2011. While there is equal representation from the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific throughout (and specifically in the top 10) the 2011 the list is notable for the way Beijing Airport has retained its second position behind Atlanta, but growth slowed there in 2011.

Meanwhile the US' southern hub managed a small growth margin of its own that was equivalent to a small airport’s entire annual throughput, to maintain a 15 million passenger cushion over Beijing, where economic factors and high-speed rail (HSR) came into play. But sadly for the US, that country's airports will not have similar levels of competition from HSR to China's. [2484 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • Europe’s growth offers encouragement
  • Madrid suffers while Barcelona grows and Narita falls steeply
  • Atlanta retains top spot as Delta's hub power grows
  • ‘Omnishambolic’ Heathrow manages to retain its #3 position – and grow
  • Beijing slowing down as economy slows a little and HSR impacts are felt
  • Indonesia the surprise package, driven by high domestic growth
  • Las Vegas attracts the gamblers back

Graphs and data:

  • Top 25 busiest airports: 2011
  • Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport capacity by carrier (seats per week): 14-May-2012 to 20-May-2012
  • China GDP growth (% change): 2008 to 2016
  • Indonesia GDP growth (% change): 2008 to 2016
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