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The 10 Busiest Airports in the World

The U.S. has more than its share of big airports. America's large domestic travel market has allowed several carriers to build up big hub operations that drive high passenger traffic numbers. Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL  ) and American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL  ) have the biggest hubs in the U.S. airline industry -- and not surprisingly, these are among the 10 busiest airline hubs in the world.

However, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines aren't the only airlines carrying lots of traffic through big hubs. Indeed, as of last year, six of the 10 busiest airports in the world were outside the U.S.

Check out which airports made the top 10 list for 2013 in the slideshow below! Then let me know if you've flown through any of these airports, and whether you had a good experience there.

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  • Report this Comment On July 14, 2014, at 2:52 PM, AcuraT wrote:

    I am always amazed to see Atlanta at #1 with Delta, now the US's third largest domestic airline. Amazed because it shows how concenrated Delta is with all its hubs and traffic - that it still focuses so much of their operations there. What is #2 for them? Minneapolis/St. Paul or Detroit from the Northwest acquistion? That would be my guess.

  • Report this Comment On July 14, 2014, at 3:20 PM, TMFGemHunter wrote:

    Detroit is the second-biggest, followed by MSP. It's a big drop after that, although Delta's New York operation is quite large if you combine LGA and JFK.

    Atlanta is by far the biggest metro area and business center in the Southeast (aside from Miami, which is in the very corner of the country. It's a great spot for connecting between anywhere in that region and the rest of the U.S. (and world). So it's not that surprising that Delta can support a huge hub there.

    The US Airways hub in Charlotte is also very large... and Charlotte is a much smaller metro area than Atlanta.


  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2014, at 3:55 PM, JohnHeenehan wrote:

    For 13 of the best years of my life, I traveled much of the world while working in corporate communications at American Airlines and Northwest Airlines.

    I passed through seven of the 10 airports, missing only Jakarta, Dubai and Tokyo’s Haneda, though I passed through Tokyo’s international airport at Narita many times. My memories of them are all pretty much the same, with no major issues during scores of flights.

    What stands out as most for me was not so much Beijing’s airport as the new highway connecting it with downtown. It was a toll road and on my first visit, in 1995, it was practically devoid of traffic. I happened to travel the parallel road replaced by the highway as the main route—it was it was jammed, even with an occasional ox-drawn cart. Great streams of bicyclists flowed through the streets downtown.

    On my next trip to Beijing (incidentally, en route to adopt our first of two girls) in 2000, the toll road was like the Jersey Turnpike at rush hour. Packed. Downtown, the flow of bicyclists seemed to have thinned.

    I was struck by how quickly China was developing. In five short years, people could now afford, not just the toll, but the cars, too.

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Adam Levine-Weinberg

Adam Levine-Weinberg is a senior Industrials/Consumer Goods specialist with The Motley Fool. He is an avid stock-market watcher and a value investor at heart. He primarily covers airline, auto, retail, and tech stocks. Follow him on Twitter for the latest news and commentary on the airline industry!

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