If you travel as much as most people in the Going Global community do, living near a well connected airport is critical. The more routes from an airport means easier, more convenient access to international or domestic destinations. For us, we see international connections as being critical to a great and efficient flying experience.
According to OAG’s Annual Megahubs International Index 2018, London Heathrow is once again the most internationally connected airport in the world. OAG has calculated the total number of all possible connections between inbound and outbound flights within a six-hour window, where either the inbound, outbound, or both flights are international, at the largest 200 airports in the world (based on total scheduled seats in July 2018) and at the largest 200 international airports (based on total international scheduled seats in July 2018) on the busiest day for global aviation over the 12 months to July 2018.
At Heathrow, passengers could have made any one of a possible 66,000 connections on the busiest day. That’s staggering!
The Connectivity Index Number shows the total amount of international connecting flights per day
Moving up the Megahubs rankings into second place is Chicago O’Hare Airport which has improved its Connectivity Index from 295 to 306, placing the airport ahead of both Frankfurt Airport and Amsterdam Airport.
Other airports ranked in the Top 10 Megahubs are Toronto, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Singapore, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Jakarta. Thirteen US airports make it into the top 50 International Megahubs, illustrating the continued success of the US airline network strategy for connecting passengers. China, meanwhile, has three airports in the top 50, along with Hong Kong (SAR). While Beijing Capital Airport is the largest airport in the world for scheduled capacity, it ranks 32nd behind Shanghai Pudong Airport and Guangzhou Airport in the Connectivity Index as it has a fraction of the possible international connections.
The most connected airports tend to illicit the strongest response from passengers. They either love the airport (as in the case of Singapore’s Changi), hate it (as with most US airports) or are just overwhelmed by the sheer scope (like many JeatHrow passengers).
New for the index in 2018 is the name of the dominant airline at each airport alongside the share of flights operated by that airline. Unsurprisingly for hub airports, 7 of the top 10 Megahubs have a single dominant carrier which operates half or more of all airline operations. Los Angeles, Singapore and Jakarta, however, each have a dominant carrier which operates just 20-30% of flights, demonstrating that successful hub airports need not be dependent on a single hub-focused airline.
In the era of globalization the world’s most connected airports are the ones which international travelers seek out as this allows for more freedom to fly to destinations without stops. And that saves time, which is crucial in business or leisure travel.