Apr 12, 2022 - News

Denver airport ranks as the 3rd busiest in the world

Busiest airports worldwide, 2021
Data: Airports Council International; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Denver International Airport is even busier than you realize.

What's new: Denver's airport ranked No. 3 nationwide in 2020 — but in 2021, the transit hub jumped to a new level, becoming the third busiest in the world with 58.8 million passengers.

By the numbers: DIA's growth in recent years is exponential. It ranked 19th busiest in the world in 2017 and 2018, and eighth in 2020.

  • Last year, only the Atlanta and Dallas airports saw more traffic, according to preliminary data from Airports Council International.

Yes, but: Passenger traffic in 2021 still didn't recover to pre-pandemic levels. Denver saw 15% fewer travelers in 2021 compared to 2019; but it's beginning to turn.

  • This February was the first month since the pandemic that DIA saw a monthly increase compared to 2019.

Between the lines: The airport's geographic position makes it an ideal connection point for domestic air travel.

  • "Despite the challenges, [DIA] has shown resiliency through the pandemic and has proven why Denver is such an important hub for our airline partners," said airport CEO Phil Washington in a statement.
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