Here are the world’s busiest airports in April 2021! We’ve analyzed the latest traffic figures and provide you with the most up-to-date top 15 busiest airports by the number of flights, passengers, and cargo.

World's Busiest Airports

World’s Busiest Airports in April 2021

For many airports, traffic figures continue to grow. We wanted to know the details again and took a look at the official ICAO traffic figures. Therefore, we analyzed the world’s busiest airports regarding the number of passengers, flights (departures), and freight volume. And here’s the result: The world’s busiest airports — based on April 2021 traffic figures. Here’s what’s contained in detail:

World’s Top 15 Busiest Airports by Passenger Numbers

Key Takeaways

Guangzhou remains the world’s busiest airport for passengers.
In April 2021, China’s Guangzhou (CAN) airport (again) wins the label “world’s busiest airport” by passenger numbers. Compared to March, Guangzhou recorded another growth of almost 10%. However, Atlanta is close behind. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if Guangzhou will remain the world’s busiest airport or if Atlanta will push Guanzhou off the throne next month.

China and the United States continue to dominate the ranking
Again, the list of the world’s busiest airports is dominated by Chinese and U.S. airports. Seven out of 15 airports are based in China, whereas eight are based in the U.S. As a result, there’s no single airport among the busiest airport list outside of China or the U.S.

Beijing, Shanghai, and Charlotte are the top gainers
Looking at the growth rate compared to the previous month, it turns out that Charlotte (+17.1%) and Beijing (+17.5%) are the top gainers of the month. Besides that, Shanghai (+14.5%) performed very well too.

Detailed Airport Ranking

RankAirportCountryPassengers (mil)vs. Prev. Months (%)vs. Prev. Months (abs.)
1 (1)Guangzhou (CAN)China2.572+9.2+0.217
2 (2)Atlanta (ATL)United States2.459+6.4+0.150
3 (4)Dallas (DFW)United States2.364+4.9+0.111
4 (3)Chengdu (CTU)China2.329+2.1+0.049
5 (6)Denver (DEN)United States2.182--
6 (8)Beijing (PEK)China2.061+17.5+0.307
7 (5)Shenzhen (SZX)China2.055+0.2+0.005
8 (10)Shanghai (PVG)China1.994+14.5+0.253
9 (12)Charlotte (CLT)United States1.889+17.1+0.276
10 (9)Shanghai (SHA)China1.863+6.6+0.116
11 (-)Chicago (ORD)United States1.768--
12 (13)Hangzhou (HGH)China1.669+6.5+0.102
13 (14)Orlando (MCO)United States1.637+4.6+0.073
14 (15)Phoenix (PHX)United States1.585+5.5+0.084
15 (-)Los Angeles (LAX)United States1.537--

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Top 15 Busiest Airports By Flights (Departures)

Key Takeaways

Atlanta remains at the top but recorded a traffic decrease
Atlanta Airport (ATL) defeated the first rank and holds the world’s busiest airport title. With 29,987, the airport operated the highest number of departures in April 2021. However, compared to April, Atlanta recorded a decrease in departures by almost 1%.

Chicago is the top gainer.
Chicago O’Hare airport recorded an increase in departures by an impressive 13.2%. As a result, the airport climbs two positions and ranks as the third-busiest airport by departures.

China and the United States dominate again.
Unsurprisingly, Chinese and U.S. airports dominate this ranking too. However, the U.S. perform better and conquer the first five positions. Moreover, 10 out of 15 airports are located in the United States, whereas “only” 5 are located in China.

Detailed Airport Ranking

RankAirportCountryDeparturesvs. Prev. Months (%)vs. Prev. Months (Abs.)
1 (1)Atlanta (ATL)United States28.987-0.9-0.286
2 (2)Dallas (DFW)United States25.945-3.3-0.907
3 (5)Chicago (ORD)United States23.124+13.2+2.711
4 (3)Charlotte (CLT)United States22.527+3.9+0.862
5 (4)Denver (DEN)United States22.233+5.7+1.209
6 (6)Guangzhou (CAN)China19.588-1.5-0.301
7 (7)Shanghai (PVG)China18.856+5.8+1.043
8 (8)Los Angeles (LAX)United States17.912+2.9+0.513
9 (9)Phoenix (PHX)United States16.442-4.3-0.74
10 (13)Miami (MIA)United States15.962+3.4+0.539
11 (14)Beijing (PEK)China15.863+3.4+0.525
12 (10)Chengdu (CTU)China15.819-2.5-0.422
13 (11)Shenzhen (SZX)China15.568-1.9-0.316
14 (15)Long Beach (LGB)United States15.488+4.1+0.611
15 (-)Houston (IAH)United States15.109--

Top 15 Busiest Airports By Freight Tonnes

Key Takeaways

Cargo traffic grows massively.
The world’s top 15 busiest cargo airports reported an average growth rate of 21.6% compared to the previous month. That’s an amazing performance. Moreover, since air cargo is considered an early economy indicator, we hope to see similar figures for passenger numbers soon!

Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Memphis are top gainers.
With a growth rate of 33.5%, Hong Kong leads the list of the top gainers in April. Nevertheless, Memphis (28.3%) and Shanghai (28.9%) follow very close behind.

Detailed Airport Ranking

RankAirportCountryJune Cargovs. Prev. Months (%)vs. Prev. Month (abs.)
1 (1)Memphis (MEM)United States394.102+28.3+87.102
2 (2)Hong Kong (HKG)China386.000+33.5+97.033
3 (3)Shanghai (PVG)China369.348+28.9+82.880
4 (4)Anchorage (ANC)United States296.747+27.1+63.364
5 (5)Incheon (ICN)South Korea274.906+19.1+44.259
6 (7)Louisville (SDF)United States240.047+23.4+45.593
7 (6)Taipei (TPE)China233.926+17.6+35.064
8 (9)Chicago (ORD)United States229.189+22.2+41.746
9 (12)Miami (MIA)United States223.015+23.9+43.051
10 (10)Doha (DOH)Qatar222.339+18.8+35.19
11 (11)Los Angeles (LAX)United States218.740+20.4+37.075
12 (8)Tokyo (NRT)Japan217.540+12.9+24.923
13 (13)Dubai (DXB)United Arab Emirates198.251+13.9+24.345
14 (14)Frankfurt (FRA)Germany194.942+15.9+26.856
15 (15)Paris (CDG)France173.118+17.7+26.118

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Benjamin is a content-maniac, music-lover, aviation-enthusiast, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions to change the way airlines, airports, and aviators use information. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry and working with renowned airlines + airports worldwide.

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