Chicago O’Hare Dubbed the Most Connected Airport in the World

OAG recently released Megahubs 2022, a list of the Top 50 most internationally connected airports in the world and the Top 25 most domestically connected airports in the U.S. Last updated in 2019, Megahubs provides fresh insights into how ongoing air travel disruption has affected global connectivity over the past three years.

A strong domestic aviation market propelled U.S. airports to dominate Megahubs this year. Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD) moved up from its third-place 2019 ranking and is now the #1 most internationally connected airport in the world and leads North America for the fifth consecutive time. On the busiest day of aviation at ORD, there were 43,350 possible connections within a six-hour window, compared to 65,294 in 2019.

O’Hare is followed globally by Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Atlanta (ATL), Seattle (SEA), Denver (DEN), Los Angeles (LAX), and New York John F. Kennedy (JFK). In total, 18 U.S. airports landed on the Top 50 with 13 taking the top 20 spots. Domestically, Atlanta ranks #2 and Dallas/Fort Worth ranks #3 in the U.S. Outside of North America, the most connected airport was Indira Gandhi International Airport(DEL), which came in #13 globally.

“With a total of 66 destinations served in August 2022 and ranking third in the world in terms of total capacity, O’Hare launched to #1 on the world stage,” said John Grant, chief analyst at OAG. “Given the combination of fewer international destinations and the strength of recovery in the U.S. domestic market, it’s not surprising that seven U.S. airports have taken the top global spots this year.”

The top three U.S. airports are dominated by United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. United Airlines owns 46% of flights at O’Hare (down 2% from 2019) and American Airlines owns 85% at Dallas/Fort Worth. Delta Airlines has a 77% share of flights at Atlanta.

Eight U.S. airports also landed on the Top 25 Low-Cost Carrier Megahubs list, with Denver International Airport (DEN) ranking third overall – up from its #55 ranking in 2019 – due to the strong presence of Southwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines. United Airlines is the dominant carrier at DEN, with a 52% share of flights.

London Heathrow (LHR) dropped to #22 globally after ranking as the #1 most internationally connected airport in 2019. The number of possible connections on the busiest day of aviation at LHR has fallen by 40% as a result of schedule reductions which affected high frequency short-haul routes.Mexico City Juarez International Airport (MEX) is now the highest ranked non-U.S. Megahub, which came in #8 globally.

Megahubs is created using OAG’s fligth data platform of the most comprehensive airlines schedules and global flight connections database in the world. Fight connectivity is based on regional location and airline type. Rankings include the dominant airline at each hub and the share of flights operated by that carrier. In some instances during recovery, flight and destination combinations have been radically changed, leading to notable names missing in Megahubs 2022.