New Delhi overtakes Dubai to become world's second busiest airport

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta is the busiest while Dubai International Airport ranks third

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Delhi’s international airport surpassed Dubai airport to become the second busiest airport in the world in the month of April, according to a report by a leading global aviation data provider.

Indira Gandhi International Airport in the Indian capital city emerged as the second busiest airport in terms of frequency of domestic and international flights and seat capacity of 3.61 million, Official Airline Guide, a global travel data operator, said in a report.

The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta in the US was the busiest airport with 4.42 million seats, while Dubai International Airport ranked third with a seating capacity of 3.55 million.

China’s Guangzhou fell from its fourth position to 10th because of continuing travel restrictions in the country. Its place was taken by London’s Heathrow Airport.

The rankings are based on scheduled capacity in the current month compared with the equivalent month in 2019 before the pandemic.

Delhi's IGI airport — also the busiest airport in the country — ranked 23rd in March 2019 before the pandemic, the report said.

Dubai International may have fallen behind on scheduled capacity, but was named the world's busiest international hub for passengers in 2021, by Airports Council International.

Dubai recorded a 12.7 per cent increase in passenger traffic year-on-year to 29.1 million in 2021.

India resumed scheduled commercial international flights in March two years after it banned overseas air travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It also imposed a months-long nationwide ban on domestic flights in 2020 to curb the spread of the viral disease.

India is a popular tourist destination and the sector contributed nearly $200 billion to India’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019.

About 10 million foreign arrivals were recorded in India in 2019, but the numbers dropped to 2.7 million in 2020, according to India’s tourism ministry.

Updated: May 04, 2022, 8:04 AM