O'Hare Airport

O'Hare Is Number One, But Far Diminished From 1 Year Ago

Chicago's airport can still boast that it is the busiest, but the numbers speak to the devastating effects of the coronavirus on air travel.

OK, Chicago -- first the good news: You're number one. New numbers from the FAA show that in the first half of this year, in terms of takeoffs and landings, O'Hare International Airport beat its closest competitor, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson, by about 10,000 operations.

Now the bad news: Those same numbers show the shocking downturn the U.S. airline industry has faced due to the double wallop of stay-at-home orders and passengers shunning air travel.

From January thru June, O'Hare saw 277,342 operations (arrivals and departures). But during that same period in 2019, the total for O'Hare was 441,090.

Atlanta rang in at 267,572 operations, compared with 448,556 for the same period last year.

The top five was rounded out by Dallas-Forth Worth, Denver and Los Angeles International.

Chicago Midway comes in at 33rd. Midway's total operations were 71,192 for the first half of the year, compared with 110,540 for the same months of 2019.

Just one month offers a dramatic snapshot of the before-and-after virus scenario. O'Hare saw 80,540 operation in June of last year. This year, June's operations at O'Hare totaled just 24,367.

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