Istanbul Airport served nearly 37 million passengers last year, claiming the top stop in the ranking among all airports in Europe, according to data from the Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe).
A total of 37 million passengers went through Istanbul Airport in 2021 and Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport came second at 30.9 million passengers, while Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport ranked third at 26.2 million passengers.
Sabiha Gökçen, the airport on Istanbul’s Asian side, claimed the sixth spot as it served 25 million passengers last year.
More than 21.3 million people used the airport in Antalya, which is a major holiday destination for local and international tourists, making it the nineth busiest airport in Europe in 2021.
Turkey’s airports served a total of 128.4 million passengers last year, up 57.3 percent from 2020, according to data from the local airports authority (DHMI).
The number of domestic passengers increased 38 percent to 68.7 million people, while the international passenger tally leaped 87.2 percent to 59.7 million in 2021.
“While passenger traffic across the European airport network increased by +37 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, it still remained -59 percent below pre-pandemic  levels,” said ACI Europe, which represents over 500 airports in 55 countries.
Its members facilitate over 90 percent of commercial air traffic in Europe.
“After losing 1.72 billion passengers in 2020, we all had high hopes for a strong recovery in 2021. But last year proved another difficult one, as Europe’s airports ended up losing another 1.4 billion passengers compared to 2019,” said Olivier Jankovec, director general of ACI Europe.
This means they remain under considerable stress, with systemic financial weakness across the industry, he added.