DENVER — Denver International Airport ended 2021 as the world’s third-busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic as lagging international travel boosted several U.S. airports’ rankings.
DIA’s position in the annual list released Monday by the Airports Council International trade group — which held from mid-year trends publicized by airport officials — was up from 8th place in 2020, the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. In 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, DIA’s global ranking was 16th and its domestic ranking was fifth.
Last year, on the global stage, the 58.8 million passengers who traveled through DIA trailed only Dallas-Fort Worth (62.5 million) and Atlanta (75.7 million).
The top 10 list was dominated by U.S. airports — also including Chicago-O’Hare, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Orlando and Las Vegas — with Chinese airports in spots No. 8 and 9. ACI cited strong domestic travel as a driving factor as usually top-ranked airports in Europe and Asia struggled with slower-recovering international traffic.
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