2015 was another record year for travel as the world’s airports handled more than 7.1 billion passengers. The increase of 6.1% over 2014 brought the total passengers travelled closer to matching the world’s total population (estimated at ~7.4 billion in 2016). Experience The Skies compiled the world’s busiest airports by passengers for a third straight year with more facts in a multi part insight (Refer to our coverage in 2013 and 2014 Part 1 / Part 2). Part 1 will provide an overview, unveiling of the Top 30 list and a detail look at the Top 5 busiest airports by passengers in 2015. Follow part 2 of the series here
2015 Busiest Airports Key Numbers
Total passengers increase of 6.1% outpaced available seat growth rate (measures growth of an airline flight’s passenger carrying capacity) of 5.6%. As a result, load factor (measures capacity utilization) moved up by 0.6% in 2015 to a record 80.3% systemwide. Revenue Passengers Growth Rate (measures growth of an airline flight’s revenue passenger by distance travelled) increased from 5.9% to 6.5%. This represented a full 1% better than 10-year average annual growth rate (IATA).
Top 30 Busiest Airports Overview
The Top 30 busiest airports combined to handle over 1.802 billion passengers in 2015. This is an increase of 5.6% over 2014’s figure of 1.707 billion. These airports represented 20.24% of total passengers carried during the year which was slightly less than 2014. A few reasons for this decrease include: 1. airlines introduced new routes to secondary cities using fuel efficient aircrafts like the new Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, 2. passengers are looking for travel alternatives from the top congested/more expensive airports, and 3. population growth outside of key cities facilitates the expansion of second and third tier airports (such as in China and India).