LAX Ranks As World's Fifth Busiest Airport In 2021

Travelers wait in line to check in for a flight
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Los Angeles International Airport was the fifth-busiest airport in the world in 2021, the airport announced Monday, based on preliminary figures released by the Airports Council International World. 

“LAX continues to welcome more and more people back through its doors, and we expect to continue this rise in passenger numbers as international and business travel increase this year," said Justin Erbacci, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports, which owns and operates LAX and the Van Nuys Airport.

“Our team has been working hard to prepare LAX for this travel resurgence and is greeting passengers with new terminals, safer and healthier facilities, advanced amenities such as smart parking and touchless ID checks, and additional air service to more parts of the U.S. and the world.”

LAX had more than 48 million passengers in 2021, a 67% increase from 2020, moving the airport up 10 spots from number 15 during the height of the pandemic in 2020. In 2019, the airport was the third-busiest in the world, with 88.1 million passengers going through LAX.

The busiest airport in the world in 2021 was Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, followed by the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the Denver International Airport, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, LAX, the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the Orlando International Airport, the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China, the

Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in China and Las Vegas' Harry Reid International Airport. 

LAX also ranked as number eight in the world for air cargo in 2021, with more than 2.691 million metric tons of cargo moving through the airport, an increase of 20.7% from 2020. A total of 506,769 aircraft took off and landed at the airport in 2021, making LAX number six in the world for total operations.

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