Dubai: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) was the busiest international airport in the world in August, followed by Dubai International (DXB) in second place, according to aviation data firm OAG.
Amsterdam had about 2.5 million seats this month after the Netherlands announced that passengers from 61 green-listed countries could arrive into the country without testing or quarantine requirements.
Dubai, with over 2.3 million seats, was open to tourists from July 2020, and recently saw an influx of travelers after travel curbs were eased on flights from India, Pakistan and several other countries. DXB is targeting 28 million passengers this year.
The airport showing the biggest increase on its 2019 position was Antalya (AYT) in Turkey which was 10th busiest this month, compared to 30th in August 2019. Antalya is a popular coastal resort in the south of Turkey and just over two-thirds of its international market comes from the Russian Federation and Germany.
“The strength of the European summer getaway means that there are 8 European airports in the Top 10,” said OAG.
Including both domestic and international capacity, Atlanta (ATL) remained in the top spot, considerably busier than the second busiest airport - Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW).
Istanbul (IST) airport was 7th busiest, with capacity at the airport increasing by 6 per cent in August; IST is now just 25 per cent, or 1m seats, behind pre-COVID capacity levels.
Recovery in airline capacity continued in Japan with three Japanese domestic routes making it to OAG’s Top 10 this month in 2nd, 4th and 7th place. Airline capacity has increased by 10 per cent on the Sapporo New Chitose-Tokyo Haneda route and by 15 per cent on Fukuoka – Tokyo.
Vietnam’s busiest domestic flight route (Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City) has dropped out of the Top 10 this month with ongoing COVID-related restrictions on travel in Vietnam and lockdowns in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city. It has fallen to 18th place and this month will operate with just 55 per cent of the capacity that operated in July 2021.
In August, the three busiest international airline routes all originated or ended in Russia. In particular, the 3rd largest, between Antalya-Moscow Sheremetyevo has seen a 17 per cent increase in capacity month-over-month, which has moved it up from 5th busiest last month.
Routes between Russia and Turkey remained popular, particularly for leisure travellers during the summer season.
Some key Middle Eastern trunk routes have also seen capacity increases this month, with routes between Cairo-Dubai and Cairo-Riyadh making it into the Top 10, up from 12th and 16th place respectively last month.
This month saw the return of New York JFK-London to the Top 10 Busiest International routes, in 10th place. The route is scheduled to operate just 40 per cent of the level of capacity operated in August 2019 and whilst the UK is now accepting US inbound travellers who are fully vaccinated, there are still restrictions on UK travellers entering the US.