Europe’s Busiest Airports In 2022

Europe’s Busiest Airports In 2022

The airport industry has finally turned the corner on the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Airports Council International’s (ACI) 2022 traffic report for the European region. 

Despite getting off to a slow start due to COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, 2022 largely marked a year of recovery for Europe's main air hubs. 

Although the figures were below by 21 percent compared to pre-pandemic volumes, the data from Airports Council International show that 2022 air passenger traffic across European airports nearly doubled compared to 2021.

Here are the 5 busiest airports in 2022.


Leading the way in 2022 was Turkey's new Istanbul Airport (IST). Istanbul Airport (IST) welcomed 64.3 million passengers in 2022. Although the airport had to close down due to the pandemic soon after its opening in April 2019, its convenient location quickly turned it into a major transit hub, connecting Europe and Asia. 

While the facility is not yet operating at pre-pandemic capacity levels in terms of passenger numbers, it is the closest out of Europe's five busiest airports.

London Heathrow

Despite several strikes and passenger caps, London’s Heathrow Airport came in second position. It welcomed 61.6 million passengers and although it recovered its position as the busiest European airport as of November 2022, it still lags 23.8% behind its pre-pandemic traffic.

Nonetheless, with traffic and demand only increasing, the UK's largest airport will be hoping to get much closer to pre-pandemic passenger totals in 2023.

Paris Charles de Gaulle

Paris’ Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport came in third among the busiest airports in Europe.

The French hub saw 57.5 million passengers last year, still 24.5% less than the 76.2 million people that passed through it in 2019.

Amsterdam Schiphol

Amsterdam’s Schiphol closely followed CDG, having welcomed 52.5 million passengers in 2022. The airport’s recovery was severely impacted by staff shortages, leading the airport to implement a passenger cap until March 2023 to be able to manage the influx of passengers. 

Nevertheless, the disruptions and endless queues still made people call Schiphol the “worst airport ever”.

Madrid Barajas

Madrid’s Barajas Airport (MAD) closed the top 5 league, surpassing Frankfurt.

The airport welcomed 50.6 million passengers in 2022 and was the second closest to fully recovering its 2019 traffic after IST, being only 18% behind its pre-pandemic figures.

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