O’Hare Becomes World’s Best-Connected Airport For First Time Since 2016

September 21, 2022

Official Aviation Guide’s 2022 Megahub Connectivity Index Moves O’Hare from No. 3 to No. 1

CHICAGO — Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced that O’Hare International Airport is the world’s most connected airport this year for the first time since 2016, according to Official Aviation Guide (OAG), the global authority on air service information.

“Chicago is proud to have one of the world’s great airports, an economic driver for our region that connects Chicagoans to the world, and the world to Chicagoans,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “As we continue to make unprecedented investments in the airfield and terminal facilities at O’Hare, today’s news underscores the impact of this work, and the future potential for our hometown airport to support new jobs and opportunities for diverse residents from all 77 of our city’s community areas.”

The connectivity data analyzed to determine O’Hare's top spot goes beyond the size of an airport’s route network and measures the number of connections possible within a specific time frame. The rankings also take into account the relative attractiveness of each airport as a connecting point for scheduled domestic air passengers.

“With a total of 66 international destinations served in August 2022 and ranking third in the world in terms of total capacity, O’Hare launched to #1 on the world stage,” said John Grant, chief analyst at OAG.

Boosting Chicago’s global connectivity ratings was a large portfolio of domestic and international air services, including 29 routes announced or launched since January. This includes new domestic destinations, as well as new and returning international service, like Tel Aviv, Auckland and Barcelona.

“Chicago’s position in the middle of this continent makes O’Hare critical to the air traffic network not only across North America, but the entire world,” said Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee of the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), which owns and operates both O’Hare and Midway international airports. “Recently completed runway work through the 16-year O’Hare Modernization Program has reduced avoidable delays by 65%, and we’re building on that success by moving forward on one of the world’s most ambitious terminal redevelopment programs: O’Hare 21.”

Increased connections are not only good for travelers, they also generate a substantial economic impact for the city with each new or expanded route at O’Hare. Chicago also benefits from additional connectivity at Midway International Airport, which ranks 19th in domestic connectivity on OAG’s list of large airports in 2022.

Rounding out the top five airports for international connectivity after O’Hare were Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL), Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) and Denver International (DEN). For more insights from Megahubs, download the full report here.

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