The top 5 pairs of airports in the world in 2020

The top five pairs of domestic passenger airports were all in Asia and outperformed major international routes as domestic recovery returned faster, particularly in China, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported.

These pairs of airports were:

  • Jeju-Seoul Gimpo (10.2 million, 35.1% more than in 2019).
  • Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City (5.9 million, 54.3% increase from 2019).
  • Shanghai-Hongqiao-Shenzhen (3.7 million, 43.4% more than in 2019).
  • Beijing-Capital-Shanghai-Hongqiao (3.6 million, up 11.8% from 2019).
  • Guangzhou-Shanghai-Hongqiao (3.5 million, 41.2% more than in 2019).

On the other hand, the five main nationalities that travel by plane (international) were:

  • United States (45.7 million, or 9.7% of all passengers).
  • United Kingdom (40.8 million, or 8.6% of all passengers).
  • Germany (30.8 million, or 6.5% of all passengers).
  • France (23.3 million, or 4.9% of all passengers).
  • India (17.4 million, or 3.7% of all passengers).


Air travel was the bright spot in air travel in 2020 as the market adapted to keep goods moving, including vaccines, personal protective equipment (PPE), and vital medical supplies.


The top five route areas by passenger demand (RPK), with the largest drop in routes within the Far East, were:

  • Within Europe (290.3 million, 70.7% less than in 2019).
  • Europe-North America (122.9 million, a decrease of 80.4% from 2019).
  • Within the Far East (117.3 million, a decrease of 84.1% from 2019).
  • Europe-Far East (115.3 million, a decrease of 79% from 2019).
  • Middle East-Far East (104 million, 73.6% less than in 2019).

IATA published the IATA World Air Transport Statistics (WATS) publication with performance figures for 2020 that demonstrate the devastating effects on global air transport during that year of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.

For one thing, total industry passenger revenue fell 69% to $ 189 billion in 2020, and net losses were $ 126.4 billion in total.

Finally, the decline in air passengers carried in 2020 was the largest on record since global RPKs began to be tracked, around 1950.


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