London Heathrow still world’s most connected airport; Chicago O’Hare wins OAG’s connectivity award in U.S.

Once again, London’s Heathrow Airport has proved to be the world’s most internationally connected airport in OAG’s Megahubs Connectivity Index. There are over 65,000 possible connections on the busiest day for aviation at Heathrow and while the Megahubs Index score for LHR is slightly below where it was a year ago, the airport continues to perform well ahead of the competition.

O’Hare International Airport (ORD) has been named the most-connected airport in the United States for 2019 – the fourth consecutive year it’s earned the distinction. O’Hare was also named the third best-connected airport in the world, behind Frankfurt, according to OAG.

The connectivity data analyzed goes beyond the size of an airport’s route network and measures the number of connections possible within a specific time frame.

The rankings also take into account the relative attractiveness of each airport as a connecting point for scheduled domestic air passengers.

O’Hare has added more than 50 new routes announced or launched this year, including 17 new international routes. This growing service is linking Chicago to new regions of the world for the first time, including Africa and New Zealand. Chicago is currently the only city in the U.S. providing nonstop services to all six major inhabited regions of the world.

There are 15 U.S. airports ranked among the Top 50 Megahubs, a sign of the traditional emphasis on creating networks based around hub airports by the major American carriers. While Chicago O’Hare Airport ranks third in the 2019 Megahubs Index, the close cooperation between airport and airline that is often required to create a Megahub is apparent in the fact that at Atlanta Airport (ATL – ranked 8th), Dallas/ Ft.Worth (DFW – ranked 19th), Miami Airport (MIA – ranked 20th) and at Houston Airport (IAH – ranked 21st) the dominant airline operates 75% or more of all scheduled flights, says OAG.

Aside from London Heathrow, a further four European airports make it in to the Top 10 – Frankfurt Airport (FRA) #2, Amsterdam Airport (AMS) #4, Munich Airport (MUC) #5 and Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG). The fact that half of the Top 10 Megahubs are located in Europe reflects the sheer density of the aviation market, with a very high proportion of flights being international, the high propensity to fly among Europeans and the concentration of flights at a handful of already very busy airports. 15% of all scheduled aviation capacity in Europe is to or from one of these 5 airports.

Elsewhere in the world, a number of major airports have seen their ranking in the OAG Megahubs Index fall. These include Dubai (DXB), Delhi (DEL), Mumbai (BOM) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL). Meanwhile, airports rising up the rankings include Munich (MUC) which moved from 11th place to 5th, Incheon Airport (ICN) which moved up to 11th place from 15th, and Mexico City (MEX) which rose to 15th from 20th position.