This unlikely US airport just became the world’s busiest

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There have been many instances during this coronavirus pandemic where I’ve found myself questioning, “Is this real life?”

The whole situation feels so surreal. If you would’ve told me that I’d be stuck at home and not able to travel for the foreseeable future, I would’ve thought you were kidding.

Well folks, here we are — nearly two months into being stuck at home. With the world at a halt, we’ve witnessed a lot of interesting things. Adding to that list is Anchorage Airport (ANC) becoming the “busiest airport in the world” as of Saturday, April 25.

On Saturday, ANC was the world’s busiest airport for aircraft operations. This points to how significantly the global aviation system has changed and highlights the significance of our role in the global economy and fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

— Anchorage Airport (@ANCairport) April 28, 2020

On a typical day, busy hubs like Atlanta (ATL), Los Angeles (LAX), Dubai (DXB) and Beijing (PEK) hold some of the top spots, whereas Anchorage (ANC) is usually toward the end of the list. However, coronavirus has changed that completely.

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To put it into perspective, on Saturday, April 25, Anchorage (ANC) had 948 airport arrivals and departures, whereas London (LHR) had just 682 arrivals and departures, according to FlightRadar data.

So how did Anchorage (ANC) become the world’s busiest airport in the midst of coronavirus? Cargo operations, something the Alaskan airport is no stranger to. In fact, Anchorage usually tops the charts as the fifth busiest cargo airport in the world and second busiest cargo airport in the U.S. thanks to Alaska’s equidistant location between Asia and North America.

So while we’ve seen significant decreases in passenger flights overall with airlines being forced to slash routes — and in some cases, reconfigure routes all together — cargo flights haven’t been impacted quite as dramatically. Hence, why we’ve seen many commercial carriers start to carry cargo.

So here’s to the world’s new busiest airport!

Featured photo by chaolik/Getty Images.

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  • a room filled with luggage: An empty delta ticket counter is shown at Salt Lake City International Airport Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Airlines are suffering significantly as governments around the world urge people to stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The number of travelers screened last Thursday at U.S. airports was down 95% from the same day last year. Airlines such as Delta, American, United, Southwest and JetBlue have said they are applying for their share of $25 billion in federal grants designed to cover airline payrolls for the next six months. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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