Atlanta airport named No. 3 ‘megahub’ for international connectivity

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport ranks as the world’s third-largest “megahub” for international flight connectivity, according to a study by travel data firm OAG, a reflection of the strong U.S. rebound in air travel.

The Atlanta airport came in behind Chicago O’Hare in the No. 1 position and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at No. 2. Atlanta is Delta’s largest hub, O’Hare is a United Airlines hub and DFW is an American Airlines hub.

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OAG’s ranking of airports by international connectivity is based on the number of possible connections to and from international flights relative to the number of destinations served.

Atlanta moved up in the ranking from the No. 8 spot in 2019, which was the last time OAG issued a ranking of megahubs. The U.S. air travel market has recovered from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic more strongly than other countries around the world.

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“Given the combination of fewer international destinations and the strength of recovery in the U.S. domestic market, it’s not surprising that seven U.S. airports have taken the top global spots this year,” said John Grant, OAG’s chief analyst, in a press release.

In 2019, London Heathrow was the No. 1 most internationally connected airport in the world, but dropped to No. 22 this year.

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In an OAG ranking of U.S. domestic megahubs based on domestic flight connectivity, Atlanta ranked No. 2 behind O’Hare, on par with 2019.

Some airports that benefitted from strong recoveries in leisure travel moved higher in the domestic ranking, including Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and Honolulu’s airport.