Beijing Airport overtakes Heathrow as second-largest

Tuesday 13, July 2010


Beijing Airport overtakes Heathrow as second-largest


Beijing International Airport has overtaken London Heathrow as the world’s second busiest, in a sign of China’s growing dominance of international travel.


OAG reports in the July 2010 edition of OAG FACTS that scheduled airline seat capacity within and to and from the Asia Pacific region has the highest growth this month and year-to-date. The number of seats within the region scheduled for July increased by 10% or 8.5 million, bringing the total to 93.5 million; seat capacity to and from increased by 9% or an additional 1.2 million to a total of 15.3 million seats.


The growth in Asia Pacific is symbolized by significant changes in the ranking of the world’s largest airports. Beijing International Airport has moved up in the worldwide ranking from third to second largest airport (measured by seats), surpassing London Heathrow Airport. Atlanta Hartsfield International remains the largest airport in terms of both seat capacity and flight frequency. Travel to and from and within China continues strong growth, with Guangzhou and Shanghai airports now in the top 20, along with Beijing.


Worldwide, seat capacity increased 6% and added 20.5 million seats, to a total of 335.5 million. The total number of operations increased 5% with 2.7 million flights scheduled throughout the month.


“The growth of air service in the Asia Pacific region has been strong for a number of years and can be expected to continue. Regulatory liberalization along with economic recovery are fuelling the growth. Asia Pacific is important to airlines around the world as they work to gain additional flights into the region,” said Peter von Moltke, Chief Executive Officer, UBM Aviation.


Although the Asia Pacific region shows the highest growth in total number of seats, capacity within Central and South America leads with the highest percentage increase in July, growing 16% over the same month last year to a total of 22.7 million seats. Seat capacity to and from Africa also shows a strong increase over last year, up 14% to a total of 8.4 million seats.


“Other regions are remarkably resilient despite less encouraging economic news. Again this month, Europe added many seats despite the recession and the financial turmoil caused by the Greek crisis,” continued von Moltke.


Seat capacity within Europe rose 6% to a total of 79.1 million seats, and the number of flights within increased 4% or to 623,637 flights during the month of July. The number of seats scheduled to and from Europe increased 7% to 26.5 million, and flights scheduled increased 9% to a total of 117,961.


Again this month, North America is the only region showing a decline, seat capacity within the region is down 1% to 80.2 million seats. Seat capacity to and from North America, on the other hand is up 6% to 19.6 million seats.


This data comes from the July 2010 edition of OAG FACTS (Frequency And Capacity Trend Statistics), a monthly report that uses interactive graphs to display performance trends of specific airports, routes, countries or regions, sourced from OAG’s consolidated database of global airline schedules.



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