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Where does DIA rank among the busiest airports in the world?

In 2021, DIA ranked as the largest airport for flights for Frontier, Southwest and United.

DENVER — Denver International Airport ranked as the third-busiest airport in the United States and the third-busiest airport in the world in 2021.

Denver was one of only four airports worldwide to serve more than 50 million passengers in 2021.

According to the Airports Council International (ACI) preliminary rankings, this is the highest-ever global ranking for DIA.

“A lot of it is due to the types of travel that we’ve seen during the pandemic," said Laura Jackson, vice president of air service development.

Jackson said high demand for domestic flights helped push Denver's ranking up the list. DIA also saw an increase in the percentage of connecting passengers moving through the airport in 2021.

“I think that this is probably the highest we’ll ever see Denver rank in the world as international passenger demand continues to return," Jackson said. "Airports like Chicago O’Hare and LAX that have more international travel than Denver, they’ll actually probably rise above us again."

Of the world’s 10 busiest airports in 2021, eight were in the U.S. and two were in China. 

In 2021, DIA ranked as the largest airport for flights for Frontier, Southwest and United.

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

DIA's ranking among the world’s busiest airports continues to improve in recent years. In 2017 and 2018, Denver's airport ranked as the 19th-busiest airport in the world. It moved up to 16th in 2019.

The airport's passenger traffic is also trending up in 2022. February 2022 was the first month since the start of the pandemic that DIA recorded a monthly increase vs. 2019.

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