This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist


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Map of the world's flight paths and busiest air routes

Mapping Airways: World’s Flight Paths and Airports

There are up to 8,755 commercial flights in the air at any given time of day. These flights transport thousands of people (and millions of dollars worth of goods) around the world.

But where are these people and goods headed? This map from Adam Symington uses historical data from OpenFlights to visualize the world’s flight paths.

The graphic shows a comprehensive data set encompassing 67,663 different routes that connect 10,000 different airports across the globe.

A Note On the Data

The map uses an OpenFlights database provided by the third-party source that hasn’t been updated since June 2014.

Because of this, the data used for the graphic is of historical value only. However, this detailed map sparked our curiosity and got us wondering—what are some of the busiest aviation hubs around the world right now?

We did some digging, and here’s what we found.

Busiest Airports by Passengers

There are several ways to gauge an airport’s popularity. One way is to measure total passenger traffic throughout the year.

According to Airports Council International (ACI), eight of the top 10 busiest airports for passenger traffic in 2021 were in America. Here’s a look at the top 10 list, as of April 11, 2022:

RankAirportCountryPassenger Traffic (2021)
1Atlanta GA (ATL)🇺🇸 US75,704,760
2Dallas/Fort Worth TX (DFW)🇺🇸 US62,465,756
3Denver CO (DEN)🇺🇸 US58,828,552
4Chicago IL (ORD)🇺🇸 US54,020,399
5 (Read more…)