Chicago’s O’Hare International (ORD) has the highest level of domestic connectivity among airports in the United States, according to a new report from air travel intelligence company OAG.
The OAG Megahubs U.S. Index 2017 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. After ORD, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) ranked second, followed by Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) and Charlotte-Douglas International (CLT), the report showed.
“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,” OAG noted.
While central location is a critical factor to connectivity, major airline hubs also play a crucial role. ATL, the primary hub for Delta Air Lines, ranked ranked second in connectivity. The airport offers more scheduled domestic capacity than Chicago O’Hare, but offers fewer connecting opportunities between flights, the report noted.
“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, DFW and CLT, rank third and fourth in domestic connectivity, a status driven almost exclusively driven by American flights. Even low-cost carriers drive connectivity, as Denver International (DEN) ranks fifth in domestic connectivity. Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Spirit Airlines are responsible for 44 percent of capacity at the airport, the OAG report said.
“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.