New Delhi: The Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in the national capital is now the 12th busiest airport in the world, up to four places from the 16th spot it occupied in 2017. With this, the Delhi airport has now overtaken mega airport hubs of the likes of Frankfurt, Dallas Forth Worth, Guangzhou and Istanbul Ataturk, according to the preliminary world airport traffic rankings for 2018, which was released by Airports Council International (ACI).
Among the top 20 airports, the IGIA was the fastest-growing, the report added. Last year, IGIA had 6.9 crore domestic and overseas flyers, 10.2 percent points higher than the combined passengers of 2017.
Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Shanghai Pudong and Hong Kong — the four airports ahead of Delhi, witnessed only around 46 lakh passengers more than IGIA. If it was not for the lengthy delays in the IGIA's expansion, the airport would have possibly made the top 10 last year itself.
"India became the world's third-largest aviation market in terms of passenger throughput, behind the US and China, in 2018. India's move towards a more liberalised aviation market and the nation's strengthening economic fundamentals have helped it become one of the fastest-growing markets with its traffic growing rapidly in a relatively short time," according to a statement by ACI, the global representative of the world's airports.
"With the cost of travel decreasing in many markets, and a burgeoning middle class growing in emerging markets, passenger traffic growth has remained irrepressible. ACI's global medium-term forecasts reveal that the growth in demand between 2018 and 2023 will grow by almost 30 percent," said ACI World director general Angela Gittens said.