Las Vegas airport among the world’s busiest last year

Guests in the ticketing area of Harry Reid International Airport on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 in La ...

Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport was the 10th busiest airport in the world last year.

In an annual ranking by Airport Council International (ACI), a trade association of the world’s airports, Reid airport cracked the top 10 with 39.75 million passengers.

The milestone ties the highest ranking the airport has reached in the associations’ report, done since 1991, with Reid previously hitting 10th place in 2005, an ACI spokesman said.

In 2020, Las Vegas was 22nd in the world while it ranked 30th in pre-pandemic 2019. That year Las Vegas’ airport hit an all-time passenger volume high of 51.5 million — 23 percent more than in 2021.

“The ACI World passenger traffic rankings tell the story of an encouraging trend of recovery, with most of the recurrent busiest airports pre-COVID-19 back at the top,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said in a statement. “Although we are cautious that recovery could face multiple headwinds, the momentum created by reopening plans by countries could lead to an uptick in travel in the second half of 2022.

“As such, ACI World continues to advocate to governments to follow the data and ease travel restrictions to safely restore the movement of people, goods, and services. This will provide travelers with more travel options and boost the overall recovery through aviation’s unique role in boosting trade, tourism, investment and creating jobs.”

The ongoing impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic came into play with this year’s rankings.

In 2019, before the pandemic affected air travel around the world, six international airports were among the top 10. In 2021 only two international airports made the top 10.

Las Vegas’ climb into the top 10 can be credited to its strong recovery from its all-time low passenger volume in 2020. It has bounced back quicker than many other markets, especially international markets that have finally begun to emerge from pandemic-related regulations.

“The latest ACI World rankings are a testament to the continued recovery of air travel as well as the enduring allure of Las Vegas,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, Reid airport director. “While the airport is not back to its 2019 levels, we are seeing many positive indicators with the strong demand for domestic travel and the resumption of our international service. We look forward to 2022 bringing us closer to a full recovery.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.