OTTAWA, April 24 — China’s Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou has overtaken Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as the world’s busiest hub in 2020, reports Xinhua news agency quoted an international trade group.

With nearly 43.77 million passengers through 2020 at Baiyun airport, which is located in Guangzhou, south China, the Chinese airport came to top the list of the world’s busiest hubs, moving up from 11th place in 2019, the Airports Council International (ACI) said in a statement.

Hartsfield-Jackson, the United States airport that had been at the top of the list for more than two decades, has slipped to second place, with about 42.92 million passengers through the year.

Besides Baiyun in Guangzhou, the home base to China’s biggest carrier Southern Airlines Co, six other Chinese airports were also enlisted in the top 10 busiest based on passenger traffic, ACI data showed.

“The impact of the COVID-19 on global passenger traffic pandemic brought aviation to a virtual standstill in 2020 and we continue to face an existential threat,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said in the statement.

The change in the ranking is mainly brought by slashed air travel by airlines in Europe and the US, as severe pandemic situations and lockdowns have chopped off a large amount of travel demand and hence flights.

Overall, ACI data showed that passenger traffic at the world’s airports plunged 65 per cent in 2020.


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