Denver International Airport has ranked as the third-busiest airport in the world for passenger traffic for the second year in a row, according to 2022 data released this week by Airports Council International.
DIA reported earlier this year that 69.3 million passengers took off, landed or connected on flights through the airport in 2022, slightly exceeding its best year for traffic in 2019. After the COVID-19 pandemic depressed air travel in 2020, DIA was among the fastest-recovering airports, first notching the third-highest traffic worldwide in 2021 as Asian and European air travel lagged significantly.
ACI, a trade association for airports, said in releasing its annual rankings Wednesday that several big hubs, including London’s Heathrow Airport, rejoined the top 10 last year.
Still, DIA maintained its third-place ranking, behind top-ranked Atlanta and No. 2 Dallas-Fort Worth. It was ahead of No. 4 Chicago-O’Hare and No. 5 Dubai. Separately, DIA ranked fourth in the world for aircraft movements, which counts takeoffs and landings.
Overall, ACI reported that global passenger traffic was down about 26% last year compared to 2019. Denver’s airport was one of just two in the top 10 to exceed pre-pandemic traffic.
The group projected further recovery for international air travel in 2023, including in China, making it likely that DIA will slide down the list in the coming year.
In 2019, DIA ranked as the world’s 16th-busiest airport for passenger traffic and was fifth-busiest in the United States.
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