See How Much Air Traffic Has Dropped at the World’s Busiest Airports

Front view of a check-in area in a modern airport: luggage accept terminals with baggage handling belt conveyor systems, multiple empty white informational LCD screen mockups, indexed check-in desks.
skyNext / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Due to COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions, air travel has dropped dramatically in the first half of 2020. Passenger numbers decreased by 58.4% worldwide compared to the same time period in 2019, according to an analysis by Airports Council International. That amounts to a reduction in passengers of 5.6 billion for the year. Not surprisingly, revenues have dropped as well. Airlines are expected to make $104.5 billion less than their projected revenues for 2020.

And things aren’t expected to look up anytime soon. The holidays are usually a major travel time, but the analysis predicts that passenger traffic volumes will only reach 56% in December. Passenger volume is not expected to recover to 2019 levels until 2023.

“As air transport has always been an industry based on the interdependence of all its parts, the COVID-19 crisis devastated all stakeholders — from aircraft manufacturers and travel agents to retailers in airports — and resulted in job losses, business shutdowns, bankruptcies and other instances of economic devastation,” Airports Council International world director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira said in a media release.

Some of the world’s busiest airports — including Atlanta and Beijing airports, which had more than 100 million passengers fly through in 2019 — have seen major drops in passenger volume. Here’s how much passenger traffic has dropped at the 10 busiest airports across the globe:

  1. Atlanta (ATL) — 110.5 million passengers in 2019; traffic dropped 56.6% in the first half of 2020
  2. Beijing (PEK) — 100 million passengers in 2019; traffic dropped 73.6% in the first half of 2020
  3. Los Angeles (LAX) — 88.1 million passengers in 2019; traffic dropped 58.9% in the first half of 2020
  4. Dubai (DXB) — 86.4 million passengers in 2019; traffic dropped by 56.4% in the first half of 2020
  5. Tokyo (HND) — 85.5 million passengers in 2019; traffic dropped by 59.2% in the first half of 2020
  6. Chicago (ORD) — 84.6 million passengers in 2019; traffic dropped by 57.6% in the first half of 2020
  7. London (LHR) — 80.9 million passengers in 2019; traffic dropped by 60.2% in the first half of 2020
  8. Shanghai (PVG) — 76.2 million passengers in 2019; traffic dropped by 68.1% in the first half of 2020
  9. Paris (CDG) — 76.2 million passengers in 2019; traffic dropped by 61.4% in the first half of 2020
  10. Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) — 75.1 million passengers in 2019; traffic dropped by 48.2% in the first half of 2020

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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert.