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CHICAGO —The City of Chicago and the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) today announced that O’Hare International Airport (ORD) has once again been named the most-connected airport in the United States for 2019 – the fourth consecutive year it's earned the distinction. O’Hare was also named the third best-connected airport in the world, according to Official Aviation Guide (OAG), the global authority on air service information. The 2019 Megahubs U.S. Index ranks O’Hare ahead of other major U.S. hubs in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York, and behind only London Heathrow and Frankfurt worldwide.
“O’Hare International Airport is a major economic driver for our city, connecting residents, visitors, and businesses alike from across the country and around the world, including dozens of new routes added this year alone,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Today’s announcement underscores the impact of our investments, and as O’Hare continues to expand through the coming decade, we will continue to ensure its success provides even greater opportunity for every resident and community through new jobs, economic activity, and growth.
The connectivity data analyzed to determine O’Hare's place at the top 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.
“O’Hare’s connectivity sets it apart, and we appreciate the efforts and investments made by our airline partners to keep a good thing going,” said CDA Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee. “We are pleased with OAG’s analysis, and confident in the future. The ORD 21 program will increase capacity as well as improve flight connections for travelers, adding more jobs and economic opportunity to the City of Chicago.”
Adding a boost to Chicago’s global connectivity ratings is O’Hare’s fast-expanding portfolio of air services, with over 50 new routes – including 17 new international routes announced or launched this year. This growing service is linking Chicago to new regions of the world for the first time, including Africa and New Zealand, and has elevated Chicago as the only city in the U.S. providing nonstop services to all six major inhabited regions of the world.
“OAG congratulates the City of Chicago for being home to the most-connected airport in the United States for four straight years,” said Mark Mattio, Head of North America at OAG. “O'Hare plays an important role in the global travel ecosystem, and its consistent first-place ranking is a testament to its commitment to advancing its air service with new terminals, capacity, services and routes.”
Chicago’s air connectivity stands to further thrive, with a modernized airfield and $8.5 billion plan by the City and the airlines to set the stage for O’Hare’s biggest terminal expansion yet. The O’Hare 21 project is designed to modernize facilities, deliver more gates, new passenger amenities, more economic opportunity for the City of Chicago, and keep travelers worldwide connected to Chicago.
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. New air services at Chicago’s airports have had an estimated $3 billion impact to the Chicago region’s economy since 2011. Due to the increased services, passenger volume records for the last three years have also grown, with more than 100 million passengers traveling through Chicago’s airports today.
Chicago also benefits from additional connectivity at Midway International Airport, which ranks 18t in domestic connectivity on OAG’s list of large airports in 2019, and 18 worldwide. For more insights from the Megahubs U.S. Index or the Megahubs International Index, released today, download the full report here.