At ForwardKeys, as leaders in global travel intelligence, we are pleased to announce the publication of the Busiest Airports in the World report – an analysis of global air traffic through 2023 with a focus on the busiest airports in the world. Although travel volumes have not yet fully recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels, the overall outlook is positive and reveals exciting opportunities for airport retailers, duty-free operators, brands, and media agencies as certain airports in Europe are leading the pack in terms of international outbound traffic. In the top twenty rankings revealed by ForwardKeys, 11 of the 20 airports listed are in Europe but in the top position is Dubai.

Dubai International (DXB) remains the global leader in departing international passenger numbers, having fully recovered to 2019 levels. Its solid performance is attributable to excellent connectivity and its position as a global crossroads, benefitting from reactivated European, North American, and Indian travel. Outbound seat capacity is set to improve further with the gradual recovery of Chinese long-haul travel.

The rising airport stars to watch are Istanbul Airport and Doha’s Hamad International, both showing substantial increases in outbound international traffic – more detailed figures can be found in the report upon downloading, including a full top 50 airport index.

“Accurate, timely, and detailed data is essential due to ever-changing travel preferences, shifting economic conditions, and evolving consumer behaviour,” says Marina Giuliano, VP of Brands, Retailers & Media at ForwardKeys.

“Businesses need to take a forward-thinking approach to data to identify the airports, terminals, and passenger demographics with the greatest growth potential and ROI (return on investment). By making global air travel data accessible across their organisations, rather than just to specialised teams, they will be well-positioned to capitalise on these opportunities,” she adds.

The report “The Busiest Airports in the World” provides insights into the significant trends that have impacted businesses dependent on air travel in 2023 and will continue to do so into 2024. The report highlights the importance of travel intelligence in helping airport retailers, duty-free operators, brands, and media agencies navigate these developments.

Download the report to learn more about the nationalities leading the travel recovery, strategies to target passengers at a terminal level, the new Chinese traveller, the current air travel outlook and more!


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2023-11-24T16:24:40+01:0029/09/2023|All, In the News, Travel Retail|
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