2015 World’s Busiest Airports Rest Of Top 10 Prediction

World's Busiest Airports Hong Kong International Airport - Aerial View

Experience The Skies revealed its prediction for the top 3 busiest airports for 2015. (News – January 21, 2015). The following insight is an analysis of airports aiming for a spot in the top 10.

Busiest Airports

It is certain that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Beijing Capital International Airport and Dubai International Airport will finish in the top 3 for 2015. We predict passenger traffic data will hit all time high for these three airports in different parts of the world.

2015 Top 30 Busiest Airports Prediction Top 3
2015 Top 30 Busiest Airports Prediction Top 3

Rest of the Top 10

Competition for a spot in the top 10 intensifies as up to ten airports have the base and traffic growth to join the elite list. The airports i the running include:

  • London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
  • Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Charles De Gaulle International Airport (CDG)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
  • Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
  • Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CGK)
  • Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST)

All the candidates on this list except for IST have been in the top 10 previously.  To make the list in 2015, the airport will likely need to handle at least 64 million passengers.

Based on analysis of available data, here is our prediction of airports claiming fourth to tenth place.

2015 Top 30 Busiest Airports Rest of Top 10 Prediction (Placement)
2015 Top 30 Busiest Airports Rest of Top 10 Prediction (Placement)

Fourth Place

Although the Midwest US airport may have lost the crown of total movements to  ATL, Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) will likely move back into the Top 5 in 2015. Its November figures are running 10% higher than previously year. Christmas rush projections indicate an 8% increase in passenger volume. Based on all the data available, we predict that the airport might finish with close to 76 million passengers.

Fifth Place

Haneda Airport (HND), the bigger of the two Tokyo airports is experiencing growth as the aviation authority opens new flight slots for international operations (Insight – Fight for Haneda slots Part 1 of 4, Redux).   The pace needs to increase for the airport to stay competitive with the world’s first. Based on data provided, we estimated growth at Haneda to be less than 5%. This is reflected by its drop from fourth to fifth place.

Sixth Place

London Heathrow Airport (LHR), the airport faces a significant capacity constraint. As such, it will likely face a big drop from third to sixth in 2015. As the government continues to determine the expansion plans for London area airports (News – July 1, 2015), airlines are building a bigger presence elsewhere. For example, London Gatwick Airport (LGW) welcomed Emirates third Airbus A380 flight on January 1, 2016 (News – August 6, 2016).

Emirates Airbus A380-800
Emirates Airbus A380-800

In addition, Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) will start new flights to LGW in September 2016 (News – December 11, 2015). Both news will likely draw some passengers away from LHR.

Seventh Place

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), US west coast’s busiest airport will likely land in seventh place. The airport is enjoying another record breaking year. However, its projected growth may not be enough to outpace the others in the top six. Follow this link for an overview of LAX and its lounges (including the oneworld business class lounge at Tom Bradley International Terminal).

Eighth Place

Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) will move up from tenth to eighth in 2015. Anchored by Cathay Pacific Airways (CX)(Related News – CX introduces new livery), the airport enjoyed high growth during the year.

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER With New Livery
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER With New Livery
Source: Cathay Pacific Airways

The airport authority is working with the government to expand capacity further by developing Terminal 3 and an additional runway.

Ninth Place

Dropping one place to ninth is Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport. The 42 year old airport is running at around 76% capacity and is competing with nearby airports. Future growth will be led by its anchor, Air France.

Tenth Place

Moving from ninth to tenth is Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). American Airlines has more than 80% of the passenger traffic here. While the airline has added capacity in 2015, it will likely not enough to propel the airport up the charts. The airport will also lose the bragging rights of the longest non-stop flight by March 2016 (News – January 16, 2016).

Passenger Analysis

The projected difference between 4th to 10th will widen from 9.7 million passengers (~13%) to 11.8 million passengers (~15%).

The highly competitive environment has fourth to seventh airport separating by less than 1.5 million passengers or 2% of the fourth place finisher.

2015 Top 30 Busiest Airports Rest of Top 10 Prediction (Passengers)
2015 Top 30 Busiest Airports Rest of Top 10 Prediction (Passengers)

Outside The Top 10

Just missed the top 10, Frankfurt Airport (FRA) reported final passenger figures at 61 million. Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CDG) will continue its downward trend and will be passed by Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) which will likely meet its target of 59 million.

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