London Heathrow most connected airport globally: OAG ‘Megahubs 2023 Report’

Asia Pacific dominates with 13 airports in Top 25 LCC Megahubs
2023-09-21
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/ New Delhi
London Heathrow most connected airport globally: OAG ‘Megahubs 2023 Report’

OAG says British Airways remains the dominant airline at LHR, operating 50 pc of all flights

Demonstrating the effectiveness of the global airport hubs as gateways into both international and domestic markets, OAG has released its ‘Megahubs 2023 Report’, which ranks London Heathrow as world's most connected airport.
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London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is the Megahub 2023, the most connected airport in the world, according to UK-based flight data provider OAG, which has released its Megahubs 2023 Report. It says that LHR is also the 4th biggest airport in the world in terms of total scheduled capacity in the year to August 2023.

In a press statement, OAG says the data was generated by analysing flight data of the 100 largest airports in the world based on total scheduled seats in August 2023 and on the busiest day, August 11, for global aviation in the last year, dating September 2022 to August 2023.

The report demonstrates the effectiveness of the world’s leading international airport hubs as global and regional connecting points and as gateways into domestic markets.

John Grant

“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,” says John Grant, chief analyst at OAG.

OAG says British Airways remains the dominant airline at LHR, operating 50 pc of all flights. LHR also ranked first in 2019. While the number of potential connections in the period selected still remains slightly below 2019 levels, LHR ranks highest this year in terms of the ratio of those connections to destinations served.

OAG says New York’s JFK Airport (JFK) is 2nd in this year’s Megahubs Index, with high volumes of potential connecting options across its extensive network, it sits just outside the Top 10 largest global airports by scheduled seat capacity.

JFK has moved up the rankings considerably from 18th position in 2019, in part driven by American Airlines operating seven more international destinations in 2023. It also has new services from several carriers including Qantas, Air New Zealand and Air Senegal.

The statement adds that the presence of seven Asian airport hubs in the Global Top 20 is significant considering the region is still on the path towards a full recovery. Most connected of these hubs is Kuala Lumpur (KUL) ranking 4th, closely followed by Tokyo’s Haneda Airport (HND) which ranks 5th.

OAG says the major European airport hubs, such as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS), Frankfurt Airport (FRA) and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), join LHR in the Top 10 Global Megahubs. Istanbul Airport (IST) also makes it into the Top 10 in 7th place, higher than its ranking at 17 in 2019, following a period of fleet expansion from Istanbul’s dominant carrier Turkish Airlines.

According to OAG, other Megahubs of significance in the Top 20 include Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), the World’s Busiest Airport, which ranks 14th and Chicago O’Hare (ORD) which sits in position 10, down from 3rd place in 2019.

With airports and airlines themselves facilitating international connections between low-cost flights more and more, OAG index says Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL), Malaysia, ranks first in the Top 25 Low-cost Carrier Airport Megahubs. It is followed by Incheon International Airport (ICN) in South Korea and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in Manila in the Philippines in second and third places respectively. Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) in Singapore and Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) in Jakarta, Indonesia follow next.

OAG report suggests that in the Top 25 Low-Cost Megahubs, Asia Pacific airports dominate the rankings with 13 airports, at 52 pc. EMEA has eight airports at 32 pc while North America and Latin America have just two airports each in this league.

This regional dominance reflects the high level of (Low Cost Carrier) LCC penetration in parts of Asia, says OAG. South Asia has the highest share of capacity operated by LCCs of any region in the world at 63 pc. South East Asia has the second highest LCC share, with 53 pc of all capacity in the region operated by LCCs.

OAG report adds that Europe, Middle East and Africa Top 10 Megahubs achieve the highest average international Connectivity Index of any region, with an average score of 179. Asia Pacific, while having the second highest average Connectivity Index for the Top 10 Megahubs, has seen significant change.

Five of the region’s Top 10 most connected Megahubs are in South East Asia with, as yet, no Chinese airports returning to the Megahubs regional ranking. There are two Japanese airports in the Top 10, Tokyo Haneda (HND) and Fukuoka (FUK).

In Europe, London Heathrow Airport (LHR) remains in the top position. Amsterdam (AMS) is in 2nd place and has moved up from 4th place in 2019. In the Middle East and Africa, Dubai International Airport (DXB) retains first position, Doha Hamad International Airport (DOH) is in second place and South Africa’s Johannesburg (JNB) is in third place.

Mexico City (MEX) remains the top-ranked Megahub in Latin America, with Bogota (BOG) in 2nd place.

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