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OAG Unveils the Most Connected Airports in the U.S.

October 5, 2017 Airport No Comments Email Email

According to new analysis from OAG, the air travel intelligence company, Chicago O’Hare International Airport is 2017’s most connected U.S. airport.

OAG’s Megahubs U.S. Index 2017, released today, reveals the top 25 most-connected airports in the country for domestic services, as measured by the highest ratio of scheduled domestic connections to the number of destinations served. In addition to the Megahubs International Index, OAG, for the first time, has published the Megahubs U.S. Index to focus on the uniqueness of the U.S. domestic market.

The combination of Chicago O’Hare’s central location, size and hub schedules from both United Airlines and American Airlines give the airport a perfect recipe for connectivity. The result: the airport scored a Connectivity Index of 455 — more than 60 points higher than Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson (ranked second) and more than 200 points higher than Charlotte Douglas (ranked third).

“Megahub airports benefit from both a large number of inbound and outbound flights and well-timed airline schedules. These hubs are critical to global airline efficiency and play an essential role in providing travelers with more options for ticket costs, flight frequencies and available destinations,” said Mike Benjamin, COO of OAG.

While central location is a critical factor to connectivity, major airline hubs also play a crucial role. Delta’s primary hub airport — Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson — ranked second in connectivity. Interestingly, the airport offers more scheduled domestic capacity than Chicago O’Hare, but offers less connecting opportunities between flights.

“To increase efficiencies, airlines continue to consolidate travelers across key hubs, particularly in heavily trafficked domestic markets in the U.S.,” said John Grant, senior analyst at OAG. “Airports like Chicago O’Hare and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson build connectivity through capacity, new routes and infrastructure development.”

American Airlines two premier hubs, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Charlotte Douglas, rank third and fourth in domestic connectivity, almost exclusively driven by American Airlines flights. Even low-cost carriers drive connectivity, as Denver Airport ranks fifth in domestic connectivity. Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines are responsible for 44 percent of capacity at the airport.

While coastal locations limit domestic connectivity options, Los Angeles Airport ranks eighth in the U.S. due to a large schedule of short connecting flights to cities on the West Coast. Coastal locations are beneficial for international connectivity, as Los Angeles ranks 11th globally. Other notable US connectivity ranks and scores: Houston (ranked #11, Connectivity Index of 102), Boston (#12, 95), San Francisco (#15, 84), Newark (#21, 54) and New York LaGuardia (#24, 51). Globally, London Heathrow finished first overall (Connectivity Index of 379), Frankfurt Airport second (307) and Amsterdam Airport third (299).

The connectivity data measured by OAG goes beyond the size of an airport’s route network and measures the number of connections possible within a specific time frame and the relative attractiveness of each airport as a connecting point for scheduled domestic air passengers.

The Megahubs indices harness the world’s most comprehensive schedules database to dynamically build connections through a dedicated analytics platform, Connections Analyser, and is further enhanced by OAG’s Minimum Connection Time Exceptions Table. OAG has calculated the total number of all possible domestic connections between inbound and outbound flights within a six-hour window, on the busiest day for global aviation for the 12 months through July 2017.

For more insights from the Megahubs U.S. Index or the Megahubs International Index, download the full reports.

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