Tired of Long Lines? Denver International Airport Ranked Third Busiest in the World

Photo courtesy Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport (DEN/known locally as DIA) was ranked the third-busiest airport not only in the United States but in the world in 2021, according to preliminary rankings done by the Airports Council International. It’s the highest global ranking for DEN ever.

DIA also ranked as the largest airport for Frontier, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines flights with service to over 58.8 million passengers. Jumping from eighth highest worldwide passenger traffic rankings to third, DIA is only one of four airports serving over 50 million passengers, ahead of Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) and behind only Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) and Atlanta (ATL) airports.

Airport officials attribute Denver’s top three ranking to the strong demand for domestic travel during the pandemic and the Mile High City’s geographic location that supports connecting passenger traffic flows.

READ: DIA Announces 40 New Concession Options to Open by 2023

In 2017 and 2018, DEN ranked as the 19th-busiest airport and moved up to 16th position in 2019. Although DEN has experienced a 15% decline in passengers in comparison to 2019, airport officials say that DEN passenger traffic in 2022 is trending in a positive direction. 

“Despite the challenges, DEN has shown resiliency through the pandemic and has proven why Denver is such an important hub for our airline partners,” DEN CEO Phil Washington said in a statement. “As we continue to recover from the pandemic, we remain committed to working collaboratively with our airlines to expand DEN’s air service network providing even more travel options to and from Denver.”

10 busiest airports worldwide in 2021

  1. Atlanta (ATL) – 75,704,760
  2. Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) – 62,465,756
  3. Denver (DIA) – 58,828,552
  4. Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) – 54,020,399
  5. Los Angeles (LAX) – 48,007,284
  6. Charlotte (CLT) – 43,302,230
  7. Orlando (MCO) – 40,351,068
  8. Guangzhou (CAN) – 40,259,401
  9. Chengdu (CTU) – 40,117,496
  10. Las Vegas (LAS) – 39,754,366

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