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Cancun International Airport Is Now One Of The Busiest In The World

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Airports Council International (ACI) the organization that regulates Airport authority recently revealed its list of the top ten airports with more international flights in the world. The influx of international flights that the Cancun international airport had through 2021, and continues to see in 2022 landed the airport as the 10th busiest airport in the world.

International Flight To Cancun Airport

The Cancun airport saw 13.2 million passengers through the gates in 2021. Those numbers were up over 94% compared to the number of passengers that arrived or left the beach city in 2020. The numbers for 2021 though, were still below what the Cancun area had seen in the pre pandemic era. As things currently stand, though, 2022 international arrivals, and departures are well on their way to eclipse the numbers reached in 2019. Overall the ACI considered these post pandemic totals to be “a promising sign” towards post pandemic economic recovery. 

airplane boarding

The Cancun Airport Is Seeing A Much Faster Recovery Than Other Airports Across The Globe 

On average the number of passengers that boarded international flights in 2021 worldwide was only up around 25% compared to the numbers seen in 2020. There are certainly multiple reasons for this. For example, many countries still imposed heavily restrictive travel guidelines through much of 2021 due to COVID. Meanwhile Cancun was one of the cities with the most relaxed COVID protocols throughout the year. At least when it comes to beach cities that happen to be very tourist friendly. 

The fact that over 94% more passengers arrived to Cancun in 2021 has meant that many local businesses were able to get right back on track. About a month back the president of the Hotels’ Association of Cancun addressed this recovery process, saying that the beach city had been able to bounce back quickly thanks to “borrowed tourism”. Alluding to the fact that many other destinations within the region continued to impose stricter COVID protocols, and that allowed Cancun to become a more desirable destination. 

Lines at Cancun Airport

Even though other tourist destinations have since relaxed their COVID protocols the Cancun airport seems well on track to make 2022 a record-breaking year. With the number of passengers from international flights arriving to the city on track to eclipse pre-pandemic numbers.  

Parking Area at Cancun Airport

Other Cities That Accompany Cancun On The List of Airports With The Most International Traffic

The Madrid/Barajas airport is the airport that sits just above Cancun on the 9th spot on the list. Madrid saw around 15 million passengers land and take off on international flights. The road to recovery for an airport like Madrid still seems to be a steep climb. Although the 15 million passengers represented an important increase when compared to 2020 numbers the airport is still way below its pre pandemic numbers. 

glasgow airport

Other airports on the list are seeing similar recovery rates. Which are nowhere near the levels that the Cancun airport is seeing. Amsterdam, another gateway to Europe airport, ranked even higher on the list, with other potentially surprising places like Estambul ranking high on the list. The Dubai international airport took the top spot on the list. It’s important to point out though, that this doesn’t necessarily mean that the Dubai airport is the busiest of them all. 

Notably US airports were not heavily featured on the list. Although, overall it’s the Atlanta airport that gets the most traffic of any airport in the world. The main reason why not many American airports had a place on the list seems to be simple. American airports get a lot of national traffic. That’s what keeps them busy. International flights, while certainly important, don’t tend to make up the bulk of the overall traffic for these airports.

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