World’s busiest airports this Christmas captured in mesmerising timelapse video

A new timelapse video charts the hundreds of thousands of flights taking off during the festive period.

From 21 to 25 December, 466,897 departures will carry more than 69 million passengers around the globe.

In the UK, 10,888 flights are scheduled to arrive between 21 and 25 December, bringing 1.8m people to spend the holiday season here.

Of these, 8,163 will be international arrivals touching down from Spain, the US and Germany; London Heathrow and London Gatwick will be the busiest UK airports, followed by Manchester. 

A total of 10,994 flights will depart the country during the run-up to Christmas.

The busiest country for flight arrivals and departures is the US, with 118,071 departures and 118,844 arrivals over the five days.

It’s followed by China, India, Indonesia and Canada.

The UK makes it into the busiest cities list, with London coming in third thanks to its 6,071 departures and 6,007 arrivals. It’s pipped to the post by New York (7,667 departures and 7,596 arrivals) and Chicago (6,686 departures and 6,678 arrivals).

The busiest day for air travel worldwide during the five days is 23 December – 99,948 flights are scheduled that day. It’s closely followed by 22 December, when 98,275 flights will be taking off and landing in total.

The timelapse has been produced by Buyagift to “visualise just how important spending time with our nearest and dearest around the world is by showing the lengths people go to, quite literally, over the five days ahead of Christmas in order to be with their loved ones.”

The video is based on flight data from OAG Aviation, which details the comings and goings of 450 airports worldwide and includes all scheduled flights.

“Christmas is globally one of the peak periods for scheduled airlines, and OAG’s dynamic schedules database and flight status systems highlight the sheer size and scale of passengers moving at this busy time of year,” said Carolina Mather at OAG. ”With schedules changing daily keeping a track on flights and expected arrival times makes Christmas seem that little bit nearer.” 

World’s 10 busiest countries

World’s 10 busiest cities


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