Airport in Alaska Named World’s Busiest for a Day

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. snag / snæg / (v) – to get something through good luck or quick action

    Bystanders managed to snag a photo with the celebrity.

  2. influx / ˈɪnˌflʌks / (n) – an arrival of people or things in large numbers

    The hotel is preparing for an influx of guests this summer.

  3. freight / freɪt / (n) – the goods carried from one point to another

    The company has a strategic location at the center of the city, so its freight business is booming.

  4. proximity / prɒkˈsɪm ɪ ti / (n) – nearness to something

    After moving, I no longer live in proximity to the city.

  5. bright spot / braɪt spɒt / (n) – a good thing that happens in a difficult situation

    The only bright spot during our rainy weekend trip was playing fun card games.


Read the text below.

Alaska’s Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) was named the world’s busiest airport for a day.

The airport snagged the title after handling 948 airplane arrivals and departures on April 25.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, many airline companies have decided to halt passenger flight operations. However, the demand for cargo transport has increased, leading to an influx of freight. According to ANC’s airport manager, the need to deliver medical supplies from Asia to North America has contributed to the increased number of cargo flights.

Located at the base of the Chugach Mountains in Alaska, ANC serves a small city of around 300,000 people. Despite this, the airport claims to be the center of global air cargo because of its proximity to the world’s top industry hubs. From ANC, 90% of the industrialized world can be reached by air within 9.5 hours.

In addition, even before the pandemic, ANC was known as the busiest seaplane hub in the world. It has also been consistently ranked as the fifth busiest cargo airport on Earth, with approximately 2.7 million tons of cargo arriving annually.

Alexandre de Juniac, the CEO of the International Air Travel Association (IATA), said that cargo operations are a bright spot in the airline industry’s situation amid the pandemic. According to him, cargo transport is the only part generating revenue at the moment. Data from an air travel monitoring website also revealed that many of the world’s flights still operating during the pandemic belong to freight companies like FedEx and UPS, or cargo divisions of airlines.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think focusing on cargo flights can save the airline industry amid the pandemic? Why or why not?
• What else do you think will happen if global cargo transport is also restricted or halted during a pandemic (e.g. global relief operations will be affected)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What are the disadvantages of having a busy airport (e.g. heavy traffic)? Explain.
• How can airports address these disadvantages (e.g. limit flights)? Discuss.