Beijing Might Soon Surpass ATL as World’s Busiest Airport, This Stat Shows

Oct 24, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

New numbers show that Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) will have more airline capacity this upcoming quarter than the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta (ATL).

According to airport scheduling data for the fourth quarter of 2018, Airline Weekly reports that PEK will have a higher scheduled seat capacity than ATL.

In scheduled seats, Beijing is edging out Atlanta by 462,179 seats. It’s important to keep in mind that scheduled departing seats is not the metric typically used to measure how busy an airport is. Scheduled seat capacity is a tabulation of physically how many seats are on the aircraft scheduled to fly in and out of an airport. The “busy” definition is usually based on the number of passengers that pass through an airport’s terminals in a given year, in which Atlanta still nabs the top ranking.

But scheduled seats statistics usually indicate the amount of passengers that will be passing through an airport in future years. So, in the near future Beijing should dethrone Atlanta for the world’s busiest airport.

Looking at passenger growth trends in Asia, this change doesn’t exactly come as a shock. Two rapidly growing airports in Asia recently knocked New York’s JFK off the list of top 20 busiest airports in the world: India’s Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi (DEL) and China’s Guangzhou Airport (CAN) were 2017’s first- and second-fastest growing airports by traffic in the world, respectively.

Both China and India will likely be among the world’s top-three aviation markets by 2020, Airport Council International says, while the Asia Pacific market is on course to have more than 3.5 billion passengers by 2036, according to numbers from the International Air Transport Association.

Featured image by GA161076 / Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.