An Airports Council International (ACI World) report has revealed that the world’s busiest airports recorded sharp declines in passenger traffic in the first half of this year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report found that the top ten airports witnessed an aggregate fall of more than 60% in passenger traffic in the first six months of 2020.

Globally, passenger traffic plummeted by 58.4% in the first half of 2020 compared to the figures for the same period in 2019.

International passenger traffic recorded a 64.5% drop while overall aircraft movements declined by 41.6%.

Atlanta and Beijing, the top two busiest airports, registered declines of 56.6% and 73.6% in passenger movements respectively. Los Angeles, the third in the list, reported a fall of 58.9%.

In 2019, passenger numbers were estimated to have crossed 9.1 billion, indicating a healthy aviation sector before the Covid-19 outbreak.

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ACI World director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “From a period of sustained global growth in 2019, the aviation industry now faces the worst crisis we have ever confronted, with huge declines in passenger traffic and revenues due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Aviation, and airports as a key focal point of the industry, will be a key driver of the global economic recovery from Covid-19 and governments need to provide assistance and coordination to help safeguard jobs, protect essential operations, and provide sensible policies to facilitate the return of air connectivity.”

Recently, ACI World, the trade association of the world’s airports, launched new tools to provide travellers with information about the health measures implemented at airports across the world.