Connectivity study sees Chicago O’Hare Airport at top of the list

OAG, the airline data specialist, has released the results of a new study on the U.S.’s top 25 airports, revealing that in terms of connectivity, Chicago O’Hare Airport comes top of the list for the third year in a row. The airport’s actual Connectivity Index Score was 479, up 24 points from last year and well ahead of Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport, which scored 396 points.
Part of Chicago O’Hare’s success comes from its two main tenants, United Airlines and American Airlines, both of whom have expanded their routes over the last two years. Both carriers use the airport as a major hub for passengers who are connecting with final-destination flights.

O’Hare is also in an unusual position in that it is a major hub for two of America’s largest carriers, the largest hub for United and third-largest hub for American Airlines, while Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport is the largest hub for Delta Air Lines which has only a nominal presence at O’Hare.

In terms of global results, O’Hare was the second-most connected airport behind London Heathrow which remains the crossroads for many airlines which operate on a global basis, serving a huge number of international destinations.

While the report’s results present good news for Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emmanuel who recently gave the go-ahead with a US$8.5 billion multi-year revamp of the airport, including a new international terminal, next year’s results may well differ. American Airlines recently announced new routes from O’Hare to Shanghai and Beijing, while United Airlines is focusing the expansion if international routes from hubs other than Chicago O’Hare.

As far as airline connectivity is concerned, American Airlines was dominant, followed by United Airlines and then Delta Air Lines.

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