Delhi airport posted a fabulous recovery in March to become the third busiest airport in the world

With Covid cases on the decline and rising demand for air travel, Delhi airport posted a fabulous recovery in March to become the third most busiest airport in the world, according to recent data released by UK-based global travel data provider company, OAG.

Two years ago, in March, Delhi airport held the number 20 rank. Airlines operating at the Delhi airport flew a total of 3.5 million seats in March, a jump of 18% compared with February.

The busiest airport in the world was Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson with a scheduled airline capacity of 4.5 million, followed by Dubai international with a capacity of 3.7 million seats.

Delhi airport posted a fabulous recovery in March to become the third busiest airport in the world

Among the trio, the Delhi airport was the surprise winner as both Atlanta and Dubai have held high rankings before. Pre-pandemic, in March 2019, for instance, Atlanta was the busiest airport in the world, while Dubai was at number 3.

In the past two years, the restrictions imposed on travel by governments the world over have disrupted the global rankings.

In the coming months, when more and more countries relax their travel restrictions, the conventional order would be restored and Delhi will lose its high rank.

“Only six of the ‘Top 10 Busiest International Airports’ this month were there in March 2019 (pre-pandemic). Doha, Madrid, New York and Dublin now replace Hong Kong, Singapore, Incheon and Bangkok in March 2022, pushing them out of their Top 10 positions of March 2019. In March 2022, Delhi moved up 6 places into third place, now ahead of Guangzhou.”

OAG

In December 2021, Delhi was ranked the fifth busiest airport in the world, pushed up by a steady rise in domestic travel, especially during the festive months around year-end.

Between November 6, 2021, and January 3, over 3 lakh domestic passengers boarded flights every single day, according to data shared by the ministry of civil aviation.

ALSO READ – Delhi’s IGI airport busier than Dubai International in November – OAG

In November, Delhi Airport is busier than Dubai International Airport (DXB) in terms of combined domestic and international seat capacity deployed by airlines.

In November, Delhi Airport is busier than Dubai International Airport (DXB) in terms of combined domestic and international seat capacity deployed by airlines.

At 30.87 lakh, Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) is the seventh busiest airport globally in November, slightly ahead of DXB at 30.72 lakh, according to UK-based air consultancy firm OAG. In pre-pandemic November 2019, DXB was at number 3 and IGIA at number 10 on this criteria.

But as the Covid third wave took hold in January, passenger traffic dropped, leading to Delhi airport dropping in the rankings.

In the first week of January, it fell to less than two lakh passengers per day, which took the country’s passenger volumes back to those handled in July 2021, post the Covid second wave. In March though, the airport appears to have recovered.

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