Hartsfield-Jackson’s passenger traffic declined more than 60% in 2020

A lone passenger makes her way into the main TSA checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on Friday May 15, 2020. Ben Gray for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A lone passenger makes her way into the main TSA checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport on Friday May 15, 2020. Ben Gray for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hartsfield-Jackson International, long known as the airport that handles the most travelers in the world, saw its passenger count decline more than 60% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Atlanta airport handled 42.9 million passengers in 2020 compared to 110.5 million passengers in 2019, according to the airport’s year-end traffic report.

It’s yet to be seen which airport was the world’s busiest in 2020. That will come after individual airports’ tallying of flight and passenger counts and an industry ranking from Airports Council International. Airports around the world saw steep declines in traffic, to varying degrees.

After the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and other carriers grounded hundreds of planes and canceled thousands of flights, as millions of people abandoned vacation plans and discontinued business travel.

Hartsfield-Jackson’s flight count declined 39.4% in 2020 compared with 2019. A total of 548,016 flights took off or landed there in 2020, down from 904,301 in 2019.

Cargo volume declined about 6.3% in 2020 compared with 2019.

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