What Cities Are Getting the Most New Airline Traffic — and Which are Shrinking the Most

Airline traffic is growing worldwide. As populations and economics grow, the need to keep them connected only gets stronger. And buoyed by low fuel prices, the economics of routes that didn’t make sense just a few years ago have changed to at least encourage airlines to try new places to fly where they wouldn’t have taken the risk in the past.

As a result most cities are seeing increased air service. In fact, 94 of the 100 busiest airports grew the number of available seats year-over-year.

Via Airline Weekly these are the 10 airports (out of the 100 busiest) with the most airline seat capacity growth year-over-year:

We see the strongest growth in Vietnam (see “The Bikini Airline Created Southeast Asia’s First Self-Made Female Billionaire”).

Ho Chi Minh City Airport

Growth is also strong at secondary cities in China. In fact, number 11 that didn’t make this list is Xiamen (14% growth) and Chongqing, Guangzhou, and Xian experienced growth of 8% or more.

China Eastern Boeing 737

Meanwhile Seoul and Taipei are seeing an influx of low cost carrier capacity.

Seoul Incheon

Of the top 100 airports worldwide, only six have fewer seats year-over-year.

Miami and Sao Paulo are hurt by economic conditions in Latin America, and Houston and Moscow are getting killed by cheap oil.

The Long Corridors of Miami International Airport

It’s clearly a time of global aviation growth, with only a handful of specific markets contracting for local reasons.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Hey Gary. I’m based in Kansas City and right now they are in the middle of a fight about what to do about KCI. Some want a new central terminal and some want to leave it as is. What are your thoughts on KCI? Would a new central terminal lead to more flights and destinations?

  2. @JS – I don’t have a strong opinion on the MCI airport. However I do not think a reason to build a new terminal is because ‘they will come.’ The reason airlines don’t have more service now is NOT because they don’t think the terminal is nice enough. And in fact a new terminal will presumably lead to higher costs for the airlines which isn’t great for new service.

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