Top 10 busiest international airports: Amsterdam nudges Dubai off top spot

Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands had a capacity of more than 2.5 million in August, while Dubai registered almost 200,000 fewer seats

Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport is the busiest in the world, recording a 2,511,321 seat capacity. Photo: Demotix
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Dubai has lost its crown as the world’s busiest international airport, according to new data from air travel intelligence company OAG.

European summer holidays have helped nudge Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport into the number one slot in the list of the world’s top 10 international airports for August.

The airport in the Netherlands recorded a 2,511,321-seat capacity. Dubai International Airport, which previously ranked first, slipped down to second position with 2,312,381 seats listed in and out of DXB in August. OAG creates the monthly airport rankings using international airline capacity data.

Overall, European destinations dominated the rankings in August with eight of the world’s busiest international airports located in Germany, France, Spain, Turkey and the UK.

The top 10 busiest international airports in the world

  1. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  2. Dubai, UAE
  3. Frankfurt, Germany
  4. Paris CDG, France
  5. Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey
  6. Doha, Qatar
  7. London Heathrow, UK
  8. Madrid, Spain
  9. Palma, Spain
  10. Antalya, Turkey

Turkey’s Antalya had the biggest jump in numbers when compared to pre-pandemic data. The airport on Turkey’s southern coast ranked 10th in the most recent list, compared to ranking 30th in August 2019.

Its location on the Mediterranean has helped attract holidaymakers over the summer as restrictions in Europe ease, and the airport also had large capacity from both Russia and Germany.

Mallorca’s Palma also had a boost in numbers, climbing to the ninth busiest airport in the world from being the 25th busiest back in August 2019.

Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, has welcomed a steady number of visitors since travel restrictions across Europe eased and its early inclusion on the UK’s quarantine-free green list helped boost summer traffic, although the destination has since been moved to amber by UK authorities.

When it comes to the busiest airport in the world, Atlanta in the US keeps its ranking as number one based on total scheduled frequency – which counts both domestic and international seat capacity.

World’s busiest airline routes: transatlantic flights return

OAG also revealed the busiest international flight routes in August, and Russia dominates the list.

Flights originating from or terminating in Russia top the ranking with Turkey’s Antalya also proving popular with Russian travellers, nudging the route to third despite a drop in tourist numbers owing to widespread wildfires.

In the Middle East, Egypt features strongly in the rankings with flights from Cairo to Dubai, and to Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah and Riyadh, listed in eighth, fourth and ninth place, respectively.

And the long-running New York to London transatlantic route has also made a comeback, featuring in the most profitable airline routes list for the first time since the pandemic.

Previously called the world's only billion-dollar air route by OAG, the flight path ranks at number 10 in the busiest airline routes in August.

It’s currently being operated at around 40 per cent of its pre-pandemic capacity with 138,000 seats. More travellers have been flying the route since the UK announced it would accept vaccine certificates issued in the US, but some restrictions remain in place for travellers flying to New York from the UK.

Updated: August 29, 2021, 7:41 AM