London Heathrow the ‘most connected International Megahub’; Asia leads the way among LCC connections

It may remain heavily constrained by its capacity, but London Heathrow remains the single most connected International Megahub in the world by a clear margin, the latest edition of OAG’s annual Megahubs International Index 2017 has shown. Released at the World Routes network development forum in Barcelona, Spain, the report shows that on a single day in July, there were over 72,000 possible international connections between flights arriving at the UK’s largest gateway and flights departing within a six hour window.

The OAG Megahubs International Index 2017 reveals the 50 most internationally connected airports. Airports are ranked by comparing the number of scheduled connections to and from international flights with the number of destinations served from the airport. Europe is home to the top three airports with Frankfurt Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol ranked second and third, respectively.

The results are based upon a methodology where the intelligence provider 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 an international service. The analysis uses the busiest day for global aviation, for the 12 months leading to July, at the world’s largest airports (based on total international seat capacity for the 12 months to July 2017).

In North America, Chicago O’Hare International is the highest ranked International Megahub, followed by Toronto Lester B Pearson International. Twelve of the airports in the Top 50 are in the United States, with seven of these making it into the Top 25.

TABLE – The OAG Megahubs International Index 2017 reveals that London Heathrow remains the world’s most internationally connected airportsSource: The Blue Swan Daily and OAG

16 airports in Asia Pacific appear in the Top 50 International Megahubs, including China’s three biggest airports: Beijing Capital International, Shanghai Pudong International and Guangzhou Baiyun International, while Singapore Changi International is Asia Pacific’s highest ranked International Megahub with over 35,000 possible international connections on a single day in July, closely followed by Jakarta Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Indonesia.

Ranked 20th overall, Dubai International is the highest ranked airport from Africa and the Middle East. Although the Gulf hub, now the world’s largest international airport, serves more destinations than London Heathrow, the number of international connections was just slightly over half the number at the UK airport.

In Latin America, Mexico City’s Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez ranked highest for international connectivity in 21st place and for the first time, an airport in the Caribbean, Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, made it into the Megahubs Index, at number 46.

With airports and airlines themselves facilitating international connections more and more between low cost flights, OAG has also compiled the Top 25 Megahubs for low cost connections, which include the same or different low cost carriers.

TABLE – Kuala Lumpur International, home of AirAsia, is ranked number one for international low-cost connections in OAG’s Top 25 Megahubs for low cost connectionsSource: The Blue Swan Daily and OAG

Kuala Lumpur International, home of AirAsia, is ranked number one for international low-cost connections. The next three ranked airports are Jakarta Soekarno–Hatta International, Singapore Changi International and Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. All are located in South Asia and South East Asia, demonstrating the success of LCCs in meeting international travel needs in the region.

The highest ranked US airport is Los Angeles International in fifth place. Major US low cost airports such as Las Vegas McCarran International, Denver International, Chicago Midway Airport, Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport and Baltimore Washington International are not ranked among the Top 25 Low-Cost International Megahubs due to their markets being primarily domestic.

Mexico City’s Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez is the highest ranked (10th) airport in Latin America for low cost international connections, and Barcelona Airport El Prat is the highest ranked airport in Europe (11th), ahead of Amsterdam Schiphol (17th) and London Gatwick (20th).

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