London Heathrow dropped out of the top 30 of busiest airports for first time


Heathrow has fallen out of the top 30 busiest airports globally for the first time in its history.

Last year just 91,400 passenger flights touched down at the west London hub, down 61 per cent on 2019, according to data from aviation analysts Cirium.

That sent it tumbling down the global league table of airports, as ranked by passenger aircraft arrivals, from ninth to 31st.

It places Heathrow, which for decades has been one of the world’s top 10 busiest hubs and one of the most famous names in world aviation, below “second tier” regional US airports such as Salt Lake City and Orlando.

The data is the latest evidence of how Britain’s foremost airport has been humbled by the collapse in international travel during the pandemic.

The list is now dominated by US and Chinese airports that rely heavily on domestic rather than international travel.

The busiest airport in the world last year was Atlanta, with 259,700 arriving passenger flights, down only 40 per cent, followed by Dallas, with 235,100 arrivals, down 30 per cent.

Seven of the top 10 were American airports and three were Chinese, led by Guangzhou in sixth place.