The Airport With the Most Seats Scheduled This Quarter Isn’t Atlanta

There will be more airline capacity flying out of Beijing this quarter than the traditional ‘world’s busiest airport’ Atlanta. Airline Weekly reports on airline schedule data from Diio Mi:

This does not mean Beijing will be the world’s “busiest” airport in terms of number of passengers or flights.

  • Atlanta is likely to have more passengers (higher load factors, there will be more empty seats flying out of Beijing).
  • There will also be more flights (there are more smaller planes flying from Atlanta).

Five of the top 10 airports are in Asia, one is in Europe and one in the Mideast. Three are in the U.S. Interestingly though only one of the top 10 airports for seat growth is in Asia, Chongqing, China.

United Airlines Houston

The two airports in the top 10 for airline seat growth in the U.S. are Denver and Houston — both United hubs. United has been working to build up connectivity through its hubs, while Denver has strong low cost carrier competition and Houston is aided by high energy prices.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The interesting thing, IMHO, isn’t that Beijing, the capital of a country with a billion people, is generating more seats than Atlanta, it’s that Dubai, with almost no people, is right behind those two cities.

  2. @ Gary — Living in ATL, I hate to see this. Within 20 years, I bet ATL falls out of the Top 5 in the world….

  3. LAX will rise on that list once they finish the new midfield TBIT terminal gates. Not sure when they’ll be done but it’s going to add more capacity for sure.

  4. It’s a quirk of history that ATL is the world’s busiest, but it’s very important to the people there.

  5. Trick question: which of these six cities is not in Asia? Beijing, Dubai, Tokyo, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Shanghai.

  6. @ SomeDutchGuy — None, although moron Trump would tell his moron supporters that Dubai is on the border with Mexico and Guatemala.

  7. Living in the city with the Worlds Busiest Airport (ATL) usually means you are screwed on Airline Deals. Dear Delta rarely offers us any of their good deals. :~(

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