Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson International Airport retained its title as the world's busiest airport despite the competition, ranking No. 1 on the list for 2023.

Airports Council International (ACI) World announced its annual list Monday, which showed significant differences from its previous rankings, its director said.

The changes were largely driven by international markets which have had a swifter post-pandemic recovery than domestic air traffic.

Domestic markets grew by more than 20% in 2023 (or 96.8% of the 2019 level), while international markets saw a 36.5% growth rate (90.4% of the 2019 level).

"While perennial leaders from the U.S. continue to dominate the top 10 busiest airports for passengers, notably Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport retaining its No. 1 position, there are notable shifts," ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. "Notably, cargo continues to play a key role in world commerce despite the year-over-year decrease. Hong Kong International Airport has maintained the top position, followed by Memphis International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Doha International Airport rejoins the top 10, jumping to No. 8 with a growth of 6.3% over 2019."

Atlanta's No.1 ranking, with 104,653,451 million passengers, bested No. 2 Dubai's 86,994,365 customers by 22%. Dubai International Airport surpassed Dallas Forth Worth International Airport for the No. 2 spot in the list of 2023's 10 busiest airports worldwide, with DFW slipping to No. 3 from last year's second-place rank. Denver slid from third place to sixth, and Chicago moved down five spots from No. 4 to No. 9. Tokyo made a big leap from 16th place in 2022 to the No. 5 spot while Paris Charles de Gaulle slipped out of the top 10.

ATL also beat out all other airports for takeoffs and landings, with an increase year-over-year from 724,000 movements in 2022 to 775,818 in 2023 but still below its 904,000 movements in 2019. 

ACI reported a total movement of 8.5 billion passengers worldwide in 2023, which represented a nearly 94% return to pre-pandemic levels.


World's busiest airports in 2023

  1. Hartsfield-Jackson International, Georgia (ATL)
  2. Dubai, United Arab Emirates (DXB)
  3. Dallas Fort Worth Airport, Texas (DFW)
  4. London Heathrow, United Kingdom (LHR)
  5. Tokyo, Japan (HND)
  6. Denver, Colorado (DEN): 
  7. Istanbul, Turkey (IST)
  8. Los Angeles, California (LAX)
  9. Chicago O'Hare, Illinois (ORD)
  10. Delhi, India (DEL)