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London Heathrow is the most internationally connected airport in the world


London Heathrow (LHR) has retained its status as the world’s most internationally connected airport, according to OAG’s Megahubs 2023 data.

LHR was the fourth biggest airport in the world in terms of total scheduled capacity in the year to August 2023. British Airways remains the dominant airline at London Heathrow, operating 50% of all flights.

London Heathrow Airport also ranked first in 2019, and 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.

The major European airport hubs of Amsterdam (AMS), Frankfurt (FRA) and Paris (CDG) join London Heathrow (LHR) in the Top 10 Global Megahubs.

New York’s JFK surged to No.2 among the Top 50 Global Megahubs, although OAG notes that it is punching above its weight with high volumes of potential connecting options across its extensive network, and sits just outside the Top 10 largest global airports by scheduled seat capacity.

The Big Apple gateway has moved up the rankings considerably from 18th position 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.

Istanbul Airport (IST) makes the global Top 10, ranking seventh, its lofty position largely due to the expanding route network of home carrier, Turkish Airlines.

Indeed, Turkish is the dominant airline at Istanbul, accounting for nearly 80% of all flights and has added a number of news destinations in Central Asia and the US as well as upping frequencies on many existing routes.

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

Kuala Lumpur is the most connected airport in the Asia-Pacific region and the fourth most connected in the world.

Tokyo Haneda (5th) and Incheon (8th) are the only other Asia-Pacific gateways to make the global Top 10, although the region is better represented in the 11-20 rankings with Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (11th), Singapore Changi (13th), Manila-Ninoy Aquino (15th), Dubai International (16th) and Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta (19th) making the cut.

DXB’s number 16 ranking ensures that it maintained its status as the best- connected airport in the Middle East and Africa.

Other Megahubs of significance in the Top 20 include Atlanta (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.

“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 2023 Megahubs Index analyses the efficacy and connectivity of the world’s international hubs.

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