Countries with the highest air traffic

Although global air traffic fell by 55% in the last week of March, compared to the same period in 2019, due to the health crisis of COVID-19, the truth is that air travel in recent decades has become an indispensable part of our lives. Travelling by air not only saves time and brings distant destinations within reach in total comfort, but also provides us with a unique and exciting experience that we are sure to remember in the coming months of our lives.
We recently wrote an article in our blog where we explained some curiosities and data about the busiest airports in the world.

This time we want to list the countries that have had more air traffic in recent years.

United States

The United States has the largest number of air passengers in the world, with an estimated 925.5 million passengers (Bureau of Transportation Statistics-(BTS) in 2019. The main reasons for such a high number of air passengers are: the country’s powerful economy, the number of inhabitants (330 million people) and its high per capita income; not to mention its enormous territorial extension covering different time zones. Another reason for the high volume of air traffic in the United States is the important network of airport infrastructures it has, which allows connections and routes to almost all the country’s cities.


China is the second country with the highest number of air passengers. In 2019, almost 659,930,000 people (CEIC Data – Beijing) travelled by air in this country for different reasons. The higher volume of air traffic has reduced the cost of travel within the country (domestic flights). In addition, China is one of the world’s leading business destinations, so the country is giving priority to establishing a systematic and more flexible air transport system covering all major cities. The opening of the world’s largest single-terminal airport in Beijing in September last year is a good example of this. China currently has about sixty airports under construction.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is in third place on the list. Nearly 300 million passengers (CAA UK) travelled in 2019, both on domestic flights to and/or from the UK and on transit to other destinations. The excellent facilities provided to air passengers in the country have encouraged the local public to increasingly use this mode of transport. The UK has a number of airport facilities that might be considered ‘traditional’, but which are now equipped with the latest technology, not least because the UK has one of the world’s busiest international hubs at Heathrow.

Benefits of travelling by air

Air travel is an easier and safer way to connect with the world; people, friends and family from far away… Air travel has helped us to link cultures, people, business, interests, sports, broaden horizons and culture, and a long etcetera. It has certainly helped make our world smaller, but at the same time it has allowed us to discover the wonderful people and places in it.

Countries with the highest number of air passengers:

Rank – Country – Number of air passengers

1 – United States – 925,500,000 (2019)
2 – China – 659,930,000 (2019)
3 – United Kingdom – 296,144,984 (2019)
4 – Germany -238,744,156 (2019)
5 – Japan – 113,762,000 (2017)
6 – Ireland – 113,144,501 (2017)
7 – Brazil – 102,039,359 (2017)
8 – India – 98,927,860 (2017)
9 – Turkey – 96,604,665 (2017)
10 – Indonesia -8,868,576 (2017)

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