These are the world’s fastest growing airports in last quarter of 2023

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With the last quarter of 2023 already underway, it’s a good time to look at which airports around the world are expanding the fastest. Comparing this year to last, East Asian airports dominate the rankings. This is because this time last year, many markets in the region were still heavily restricted by efforts to contain the Covid pandemic, or were just beginning to open.

To compile our list, Cirium, an aviation industry analyst firm, has examined the 100 busiest airports in the world by number of seats. In fact, almost all of them will have more traffic this fourth quarter than last.

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There are only a few exceptions, such as Mexico City, where the government is moving some capacity to an alternative airport. Another to lose capacity this quarter is Oslo, reflecting Norwegian’s strategy to eliminate more off-peak capacity.

Because the y/y comparisons are so influenced by Asia’s recent reopening, it’s still interesting to look at how airport capacity has evolved since before the pandemic. Still looking at just the 100 busiest airports, Cancun is the fastest growth airport in the world since Q4, 2019 (note that we’re excluding the new airports in Beijing in Chengdu which weren’t yet fully opened four years ago). Not shown here are the many airports still smaller than they were pre-Covid. They include some with double-digit seat declines like Moscow’s two main airports, as well as Hong Kong in Asia and Munich in Europe. Major U.S. airports with double-digit declines include Chicago O’Hare, Philadelphia, Detroit, and San Francisco.