June 15, 2024

Heathrow is world’s number one hub

London Heathrow Airport has reclaimed its coveted position as the world’s number one internationally-connected airport, according to the latest rankings by OAG.

Heathrow also ranked first in 2019, and while the number of potential connections in the period selected still remains slightly below 2019 levels, the airport ranks highest this year in terms of the ratio of those connections to destinations served. 

OAG’s Megahubs 2023 report, released this week, shows New York JFK has jumped from number 18 to second place since the last rankings in 2019, in part driven by American Airlines operating seven more international destinations in 2023, and new services from several carriers including Qantas, Air New Zealand and Air Senegal. 

Amsterdam’s Schiphol came in third position, Kuala Lumpur was fourth, Japan’s Haneda Airport was fifth and Frankfurt was sixth.

Istanbul Airport has joined the top 10 at number seven, climbing from number 17 in 2022.

Turkish Airlines is the dominant airline at Istanbul, owning a 79% share of the flights, and which has been adding both destinations in Central Asia and the US, and increasing frequency to some points.

At Heathrow, British Airways continues to reign as its dominant airline, owning a 50% share of the flights.

Other Megahubs of significance in the top 20 include Atlanta, which is the world’s busiest airport in terms of schedules, which ranks 14th for international connectivity, and Chicago O’Hare, which sits in position 10, down from third place in 2019. 

The Top 20 Global Megahubs shows an even spread of connectivity across the regions, with six located in Europe, Middle East and Africa, six in North America and seven in Asia Pacific.

The OAG report noted the presence of seven Asian airport hubs in the top 20, despite the region still being on the path towards a full recovery.

“OAG Megahubs demonstrates the enduring vitality of international connectivity. From London Heathrow’s resurgence to the impressive ascent of Asian hubs like Kuala Lumpur, these findings underscore the resilience and adaptability of airports worldwide,” said John Grant, Chief Analyst at OAG.

The analysis showed that although Heathrow is the most connected airport in the world, it is the fourth biggest airport in terms of total scheduled capacity in the year to August 2023.

The rankings were based on OAG analysis of flight data for the 100 largest airports in the world, based on total scheduled seats in August 2023, and at the largest 100 international airports on the busiest day – Friday 11 August 2023 – for global aviation in the last year.

It 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.