Airports Council International (ACI) has revealed preliminary world airport traffic rankings covering cargo volumes, and aircraft movements for 2019 combined with a glimpse of 2020 data which shows the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on airports in the first quarter.
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has brought airports around the world to a virtual standstill, resulting in an estimated reduction of more than 4.6 billion passengers and more than US$97 billion in lost revenue for 2020.
The combined 2019 and 2020 data shows the dramatic decline in air travel in the first quarter of 2020. In the top five, Beijing Airport notably experienced a -62.6% decline in passenger traffic but large decreases were also recorded across other top 20 airports in Asia-Pacific as the COVID-19 outbreak began to take hold in that region.
Air cargo volumes declined -3.9% at the world’s top 20 airports as they handled a combined 48 million metric tons of cargo.
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Hong Kong Airport remains the largest air cargo hub, handling 4.8 million metric tons of cargo in 2019, but it experienced a decline in volume of -6.1% compared to 2018. Memphis Airport was in second place and Shanghai Airport came in third.
Of the top 10, the only airports to record increases in cargo volumes last year were UPS home hub Louisville, which benefited from growth in e-commerce demand, and Doha, which is the home of fast expanding Qatar Cargo, now the world’s largest cargo airline (excluding integrators) in terms of volumes.
Guangzhou in 16th place also saw its cargo volumes improve last year as its importance as a freighter hub continues to grow.
World’s 20 busiest Air Cargo Hubs
1 Hong Kong
10 Los Angeles