Stock - DXB airport
DXB consolidated its hold on the status of being world's busiest for international travel. This year, the forecast is for 78 million passengers. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai International Airport (DXB) has retained the title of world’s busiest airport for international passengers for a ninth consecutive year, according to Airport’s Council International (ACI). Passenger traffic more than doubled to over 66 million in 2022 on the back of a solid recovery in international travel. DXB has since raised its passenger forecast for 2023 to 78 million.

In the final three months of 2022, DXB handled passenger numbers that reached pre-pandemic levels. The CEO of Dubai Airports, Paul Griffiths, said retaining the busiest airport title ‘comes as no surprise given Dubai International’s stellar performance throughout 2022 and the upsurge in traffic in the final quarter.

Read more

“The increase in demand for air travel was universal in 2022, but what set DXB apart was the dedication of our people and the meticulous planning and preparation by every service partner that makes up Dubai’s amazing airport community.”

Griffiths also said DXB’S preparedness enabled the airport to accommodate the rapid increase in demand and deliver tangible enhancement in overall airport experience for the 66 million passengers that passed through during 2022.

ACI World published the list of the world's busiest airports for 2022 on Wednesday, with preliminary figures showing that passenger traffic reached close to 7 billion, an increase of 53.5 per cent from 2021 and a 73.8 per cent recovery from 2019.

The top ten airports for total passenger traffic, which represent 10 per cent of global traffic, saw a gain of 51.7 per cent from 2021, equating to an 85.9 per cent recovery vis-à-vis their 2019 results. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport remained at the top of the rankings, followed by Dallas Fort Worth Airport, Denver Airport, and Chicago O’Hare Airport.

Five of the top ten airports are in the US, with significant domestic passenger shares. The list of international airports in the top ten includes Dubai Airport, Istanbul Airport, London Heathrow Airport, Delhi Airport, and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

London Heathrow improved its ranking significantly after reopening its borders in March 2022, moving from 54th position to the eighth spot. ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said the rankings were an important milestone in reaching pre-pandemic levels, reflecting the resilience of the airport and aviation industry, and the eagerness of passengers to travel.

He added, “While we continue to march forward cautiously amidst multiple headwinds that could impact the speed and magnitude of global air traffic recovery, the latest rankings represent an important milestone in reaching pre-pandemic levels.” Felipe also said the re-opening of China, the second largest aviation market after the US, is now expected to bring an overall gain, both domestically and for international travel.