Beijing International Airport has overtaken London Heathrow as the world’s second busiest, in a sign of China’s growing dominance of international travel.

In terms of seat capacity, Beijing International is now second only to Atlanta Hartsfield in the US, according to a July 6 report by aviation analyst OAG.

Beijing’s business has been boosted by a sharp growth in the number of passenger seats to Asia, a growth of nine percent which equates to some 15.3 million more seats flying to or from the region.

Worldwide, the number of flights taking to the skies is set to grow five percent this month, to 2.7 million.

OAG’s Peter von Moltke said that the “growth of air service in the Asia Pacific region has been strong for a number of years and can be expected to continue”.

Despite the recession and turmoil in Greece, the number of flights within Europe also increased, up four percent with 623,637 flights scheduled for July.

Both Central and South America and Africa also posted healthy gains in the number of flights available.

In North America, internal traffic is set to fall by 9,245 flights (a fall of one percent), but traffic to and from the region will increase by six percent to 98,403.

Source: AFPrelaxnews

The World’s Busiest Airports
Ranked by Seat Capacity, data from OAG

1. Atlanta Hartsfield (ATL)
2. Beijing (PEK)
3. London Heathrow (LHR)
4. Chicago O Hare (ORD)
5. Tokyo Haneda (HND)
6. Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
7. Los Angeles (LAX)
8. Frankfurt (FRA)
9. Dallas Fort Worth (DFW)