Ji Hong-gu and Choi Mira
South Korea’s main gateway Incheon International Airport recorded a 10 percent increase in the number of international passengers last year to serve 67.68 million, becoming the fifth busiest airport in the world upon beating Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Singapore Changi Airport.
The Incheon International Airport Corp. on Tuesday cited a report published by Airport Council International (ACI), naming it the host of the world’s fifth largest in non-national traffic.
ACI, an international organization based in Montreal, Canada, was established to promote cooperation and joint development of airports around the world. It represents more than 2,000 airports in 175 countries. It releases airport rankings every year. Incheon airport was ranked 7th in 2016 with the number of passengers reaching 57.15 million and in 2017 with 61.52 million.
Incheon airport was the only airport among the top five that recorded a double-digit growth rate in passenger traffic in 2018. It was helped by the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics held in February last year, increase in international flights and rising demand for overseas travel due to proliferation of low-cost carriers (LCC), according to market experts. The number of passengers carried by budget airlines in Incheon last year reached 20.77 million, accounting for 30 percent of the entire travelers accommodated by the airport.
Incheon International Airport handled 2.86 million tons of air cargo, the third largest cargo volume following Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok Airport with 5.02 million tons and Shanghai Pudong Airport with 2.91 million tons.