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Leading airports worldwide based on aircraft movements 2019

In 2019, there were 904,300 take-offs and landings at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, making it the world's busiest airport by aircraft movements. Outside the U.S., Beijing (PEK) was the leading airport in terms of aircraft movements.

Airport services worldwide

Introduction of traditional airport services in the 1910s ameliorated many of the troubles passengers or air cargo firms faced. As an infrastructure, an airport offers a multitude of services to improve the quality of air travel or transportation. The continuous search for larger business opportunities reshaped the aviation industry such that airports became a more integral part of the global logistics industry providing a number of services for travelers and cargo. Although airports have a fixed location, they compete with other airports through attracting a diverse network of connections, quality of service and a multitude of optimization strategies. Consequently, airports operation market size increased and is expected to increase continuously. The market size was over 226 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. Airports are known for their non-punctual service mostly because of the nature of operations, which are dependent on the smooth functioning of the entire economic web. Yet, there are some airports with distinctive organizational structure to buffer potential delays. In 2019, the world’s most punctual major airport was Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen (SAW) with an on-time performance score of 83 points out of 100.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Opened in 1944, Chicago O’Hare International Airport became one of the busiest air transportation hubs in the world. As a publicly operated airport, Chicago O’Hare was built after surging demand for air travel capacity. Since multitude types of airline businesses offer various services from low-cost to traditional aviation, more demand emerges for air travel and airport services. In 2019, passenger traffic at Chicago O’Hare Airport reached 84 million travelers, up from roughly 60 million in the 2000s. Even in a shorter period, the airport reported high improvement in its revenue inflows. Between 2014 and 2019, the operating revenue of Chicago O’Hare International Airport increased almost by 50 percent, reaching over 1.2 billion U.S. dollars in the fiscal year of 2019.

Leading airports worldwide in 2019, based on aircraft movements*

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Release date

May 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Preliminary data.

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Statistics on "European airports"

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