London’s Heathrow Airport has retained its position as the world’s most internationally connected airport, offering some 66,000 possible international connections between inbound and outbound flights within a six-hour window on its busiest day in 2018.
The results are based on air travel intelligence company OAG’s Megahubs International Index 2018, which is determined by comparing the number of scheduled connections to and from international flights with the number of destinations served from the world’s 200 largest airports.
Heathrow Airport was followed by Chicago O’Hare in second, Frankfurt Airport in third, Amsterdam’s Schiphol in fourth and Toronto Pearson in fifth.
While no airports in Asia-Pacific cracked the top five, a total of six made it into the top 20. Four of these are located in South East Asia – Singapore Changi (8th), Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International (10th), Kuala Lumpur International (12th), and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (14th) – while Hong Kong International (13th) and Seoul Incheon (15th) comprised the other two.
“Robust demand for international air travel is making Asia-Pacific a pivotal region for connecting flights, and the continued year-round growth of Chinese outbound travel is a decisive factor,” said Mayur Patel, regional sales director of JAPAC for OAG.
“Asia’s dominance is clear to see, but we are likely to see some interesting movements when the new Beijing [Daxing] airport opens. With China driving air travel growth, we expect hub connectivity to Hong Kong, currently undergoing unprecedented growth, driven by mainline operators (Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon) will undoubtedly see further evolution.”
Other notable airports in Asia-Pacific include Tokyo Haneda (21st), Shanghai Pudong (24th), Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (25th), and Sydney Airport (29th).
|Rank||Airport||Country||Connectivity Index||Dominant Carrier||Share of Flights at Hub (%)|
|1||London Heathrow (LHR)||United Kingdom||333||British Airways||52|
|2||Chicago O’Hare (ORD)||USA||306||United Airlines||48|
|3||Frankfurt Airport (FRA)||Germany||302||Lufhansa||63|
|4||Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)||Netherlands||286||KLM||51|
|5||Toronto Pearson (YYZ)||Canada||271||Air Canada||60|
|6||Los Angeles International (LAX)||USA||257||American Airlines||21|
|7||Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL)||USA||256||Delta Air Lines||79|
|8||Singapore Changi (SIN)||Singapore||253||Singapore Airlines||23|
|9||Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG)||France||250||Air France||51|
|10||Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta (CGK)||Indonesia||249||Gaurda Indonesia||28|
|11||Munich Airport (MUC)||Germany||237||Lufthansa||59|
|12||Kuala Lumpur International (KUL)||Malaysia||233||AirAsia||30|
|13||Hong Kong International (HKG)||Hong Kong (SAR), China||230||Cathay Pacific||26|
|14||Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK)||Thailand||230||Thai Airways||21|
|15||Seoul Incheon (ICN)||South Korea||216||Korean Air||23|
|16||New York John F Kennedy (JFK)||USA||207||Delta Air Lines||34|
|17||Istanbul Ataturk (IST)||Turkey||205||Turkish Airlines||80|
|18||Dubai International (DXB)||UAE||194||Emirates||45|
|19||Miami International (MIA)||USA||192||American Airlines||75|
|20||Mexico City International (MEX)||Mexico||181||Aeromexico||46|
OAG’s rankings offer a noticeably different picture compared to the world’s busiest airports as determined by Airports Council International, which take into account total annual passenger traffic.
Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson remains the busiest in the world, welcoming just under 104 million passengers in 2017, followed by Beijing Capital airport and Dubai International.
Asia-Pacific notably also accounts for eight of the 10 busiest international routes in the world, according to OAG’s Punctuality League published earlier this year. As previously reported by Business Traveller, Kuala Lumpur-Singapore took the top spot from Hong Kong-Taipei for the period of March 2017 to February 2018.