Have you ever wondered which airports have the most passengers? If you have made some trips you will surely have come across at least once a particularly crowded airport. Specifically, here we are talking about European airports, many of which are main port of your country or travel to destinations all over the world, therefore every day they receive a very high number of passengers.
Added to this is the fact that in Europe airports are connected to each other by numerous low cost airlines and low prices help to increase arrivals and departures.
So what are the Europe's largest airports for passenger traffic? Find out with us!
NB: The following ranking is based on data collected by the Airports Council International (ACI) with the most recent update (2019). These data take into account arriving passengers, departing passengers and those in direct transit.
20 - Malpensa Airport, Milan
The ranking begins with an Italian airport, Malpensa Airport, located in the province of Varese known as one of the three Milan airports. It hosts over 28.000.000 passengers annually.
It is thehub of the airlines Air Italy and Neos, and also here are based the companies Alitalia, EasyJet, Blue Panorama, Ryanair and Ernest Airlines of which many charter, scheduled and low cost flights travel every day. In addition, Malpensa is the main Italian airport for freight traffic.
19 - Manchester Airport, Manchester
With a higher traffic than the previous one, immediately after Malpensa we find the Manchester airport, in the ranking with over 29.000.000 annual passengers.
This airport is not the hub of any airline but Manchester receives numerous daily flights from all over the UK and all over Europe as it is both one of the UK's major cities and a lot visited for football reasons. Therefore, as football and the two teams in the city are both very popular, this is enough to make the airport one of the busiest in Europe.
18 - Palma de Mallorca Airport, Palma de Mallorca
Also this airport is not the hub of any airline but receives a significant amount of flights daily from all over Europe, especially in summer. Mallorca is in fact a splendid Spanish island that every year attracts numerous European visitors, even from Spain itself from which there is also the possibility of arriving by ship. However, many still prefer to reach it with a short flight to its main city, Palma de Mallorca.
An important factor that makes this airport one of the busiest in Europe is undoubtedly the fact that it is served by low cost airlines. This is enough to attract many travelers and receive over 29.000.000 annually.
17 - Kastrup Airport, Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, main point of arrival in the country and the most visited Danish city, as well as being one of the most touristic European capitals. Consequently, its airport can only be among the busiest in Europe.
It is also thehub of the Scandinavian Airlines System and Jet Time airlines. Finally, it receives numerous daily flights from various low cost airlines which obviously increase passenger traffic.
16 - Humberto Delgado Airport, Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, and although the elongated shape of the country allows for magnificent traveling trips from the far south to the far north and vice versa, many travelers still prefer start their journey from the capital, in addition to the fact that it is very much chosen as a destination to spend only a weekend.
Humberto Delgado Airport is therefore the main arrival point in Portugal and is also thehub of the national airline TAP and its affiliate TAP Express, the base of the low cost airlines Ryanair and EasyJet, and finally an important stopover for Azores Airlines, EuroAtlantic Airways, Hi Fly, Orbest, Vueling and White Airways.
15 - Zurich Airport, Zurich
Zurich airport is the main Swiss airport which also holds the title of best airport in Europe.
It has always been thehub of the Swiss flag carrierMoreover, since this was taken over by Lufthansa to avoid its bankruptcy, the airport has also become the third hub of the latter, thus reaching an annual passenger traffic of over 31.000.000. This airport is also the base of the companies Belair, Edelweiss Air, Helvetic Airways and Rega (Swiss Air Rescue Organization).
14 - Vienna Airport, Vienna
The airport of the Austrian capital is the main airport of the country and due to its proximity to the city, Bratislava is also often used to reach Slovakia. In 2004, works were started for the expansion and construction of a new terminal so as to allow the handling of an even greater number of passengers.
It is also thehub of the national airline Austrian Airlines and countless low cost flights land there too. All these factors have therefore contributed to placing it among the busiest airports in Europe with a total of over 31.800.000 passengers per year.
13 - Orly Airport, Paris
Paris has 6 airports but only two are the main arrival points in the city. One of them is Orly Airport which ranks among the busiest in both France that of the whole of Europe with an annual number of passengers of almost 33.000.000.
This number is possible as it is thehub of multiple airlines (Aigle Azur, Air France, Corsairfly, EasyJet, OpernSkies and Transavia France) and also a base for the Vueling company. It is in fact used for both national and international flights with European and world destinations, especially in the Middle East and North Africa.
12 - Dublin Airport, Dublin
Dublin Airport is the only one in the city and the main point of arrival in IrelandThis is mainly due to the fact that the shape of the Irish territory allows for suggestive trips on the road that often inevitably start and end in the capital.
The annual traffic of nearly 33.000.000 passengers depends on several factors, first of all being there headquarters of the largest low cost airline in Europe, Ryanair. It is also the headquarters and main hub of the national airline Aer Lingus, and Dublin airport also enjoys a wide network of flights with the United Kingdom (especially with London) and an equally wide network of connections with the States. United States, Canada, Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the countries of North Africa, South Africa and the Canary Islands.
11 - Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport, Rome
It is the second Italian airport in this ranking with a higher annual number of passengers than the previous Malpensa Airport. Fiumicino Airport is the Rome's main airport, 30 km from it, with 43.500.000 passengers per year. It ranks not only among the busiest in Europe, but also as first in Italy for the number of travelers and as the second Italian port for freight traffic.
It goes without saying that those who make a trip to our country do not forget to put the beautiful capital between the stops and often the trips start right here, but also the 105 companies that operate there with national and international flights, to all of Europe and the world. Alitalia is the main hub, while it is the secondary hub of Vueling and is also the operational base of CityLiner, Ryanair, Blue Panorama, Norwegian Air and Neos.
10 - Gatwick Airport, London
Among the busiest airports in Europe, there could only be some of the many London airports. Gatwick Airport is the second most important of the capital London and in fact has 46.500.000 passengers every year.
This is certainly due to the fact that it is thehub of British Airways and Easyjet, respectively the national airline and one of the most chosen low cost airlines, both of which bring high traffic to the airport thanks to national and international flights. It is also the headquarters of Air Partner, a company that deals with private jets and commercial aircraft.
9 - München Franz Josef Strauß Airport, Munich
As for Germany you will be amazed to find in this list theMunich airport and not that of the capital Berlin. This airport has nearly 48.000.000 passengers a year compared to Berlin's 22.000.000, so there is no comparison between the two.
This happens as it is one of the hubs of the German company Lufthansa, which we remember to be among the most chosen in the world, so here several flights arrive and depart every day to and from all over Germany, but also international and intercontinental flights.
8 - Sheremetyevo Airport, Moscow
The Russian capital, Moscow, receives millions of visitors every year and among the various airports from which Sheremetyevoa is served, it is the busiest with 49.400.000 passengers a year.
It is neither the main nor the secondary hub, nor the base or headquarters, of any particular airline, however it is the one that better connects the capital with all of Russia and the whole world with numerous flights every day and this is enough to bring the flow of its passengers to such a high number.
7 - Ataturk Istanbul Airport, Istanbul
Although Istanbul has three airports, Ataturk Istanbul Airport holds the title of Turkish airport with the highest number of passengers, also placing in this ranking among the most popular in Europe.
It is thehub main for three companies, AtlasGlobal, Onur Air and Turkish Airlines, and also remember that Istanbul is one of the main Turkish cities, also the most visited of the capital Ankara. The fact that Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia should also be considered, so it is an important stopover for those traveling between these two continents. The result is flights to and from all over the world and an annual number of passengers that exceeds 52.500.000.
6 - Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas, Barcelona
Among the most visited cities in Europe can only be the beautiful Barcelona. Consequently, its El-Prat Josep Tarradellas airport is in this ranking and is also the second among the main airports from Spain.
It is thehub of the low cost airline Vueling and the base for Ryanair, Air Europa, EasyJet and Norwegian Air Shuttle. It also offers countless flights to Asia, the United States and South America, becoming an important stopover for Singapore Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Aerolíneas Argentinas.
5 - Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, Madrid
Just above Barcelona is another Spanish airport, Madrid, main airport in all of Spain and among the busiest in Europe which conquers this place, as it is the starting point both for various Spanish and many European destinations, as well as for Latin America and many African destinations.
The airport is equipped with 4 terminals from which many national, international and intercontinental flights of the airlines Iberia, British Airways, American Airlines, LAN Airlines, Air Europa, SkyTeam and Star Alliance, KLM, Air France, Alitalia, Lufthansa, Aerolíneas Argentinas arrive and depart.
4 - Frankfurt am Main Airport, Frankfurt
Another German airport, the principal of all of Germany, is that of Frankfurt, which also holds the title of first in Europe for freight traffic. This airport is so popular as, in addition to serving the city of Frankfurt, it is also close to other important cities to reach (Mainz, Offenbach, Wiesbaden, Darmstadt and Mannheim).
It is also the main hub of the German company Lufthansa, of which many national and international flights depart and arrive every day, but also of the AeroLogic and Condor companies and this increases passenger traffic more.
3 - Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam
Schiphol Airport is not only Amsterdam's main airport, it is also of the Netherlands. It is the headquarters of the national airline KLM and the hub of Martinair, Transavia and the US airline Delta Air Lines.
From here, in fact, flights to more than 260 destinations in 91 states from all over the world, resulting in such a high passenger traffic that many low cost airlines, such as Ryanair for example, have had to transfer their flights to smaller airports such as Rotterdam and Eindhoven.
2 - Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris
We mentioned that Paris has two main airports and Charles De Gaulle Airport is the first of the two, too among the largest in Europe and even the world. It therefore follows that it is one of the busiest in Europe.
Each year it hosts over 76.000.000 passengers as it is the base, also like the Orly, of the national airline Air France which from Paris arrives in all European capitals, with over 300 departures per day, but is also the main hub of Europe Airpost, Regional and Xl Airways France.
1 - Heathrow Airport, London
Despite the impressive figures from previous airports, the top spot is Heathrow Airport, one of the 7 airports in London, the most important and traffickedor of them and of all European airports with over 80.000.000 passengers every year.
This data is possible thanks to the its function as a hub of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways airlines which count many daily arrivals and departures around the world. It is also the main London airport for those traveling to exotic countries but also an important European airport, used for this function both by the national airline, both by Alitalia, and by many world companies.