A year ago we looked back at our annual analysis, Megahubs Index and took a different way of viewing and comparing how the world’s largest airports have been performing. A year on, with international air traffic still heavily constrained by travel restrictions and airline capacity, it still seems too soon to revisit the Megahubs Index and so we are providing some data on the world’s most connected airports.
The 2021 Most Connected Airports takes the Top 20 most connected airports of 2019 and visually compares their international networks in terms of geography and size between November 2019, November 2020 and November 2021. The dynamic charts allow you to view the regional distribution of capacity from each airport in each month, which allows you to see how they have changed.
Across this group of 20 airports, international capacity remains at 53% below 2019 levels in November but there is wide variation. At one end of the spectrum is Dallas/Ft.Worth (DFW) where capacity is only 3% off where it was two years ago, thanks to a buoyant market to and from Latin America. The number of scheduled seats between DFW and Latin America are up 27% on November 2019. Atlanta (ATL) and Miami (MIA), too, are closer to recovery with international capacity ‘only’ 15% and 18%, respectively, below where it was at this point of the year in 2019.
Source: OAG Analyzer
At the other end of the scale are Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Bangkok (BKK) where international air services continue to operate in a limited way. Capacity is down by 90% and 86%, respectively. The bulk of air services from these airports was within the region but interestingly, it is the more local markets, elsewhere within Asia, and Southwest Pacific that continue to show the least signs of recovery while the long haul markets of Europe and North America, small as they were, are demonstrating a greater degree of recovery.
Source: OAG Analyzer
All the airports among the Top 20 in Asia have suffered from having a route network heavily geared to a single region, elsewhere in Asia. With the widespread imposition of travel restriction in Asia, based around a zero-case covid-19 policy until recently, these countries have had little room to develop air services over the past year. In contrast, airports which were used to having networks that connected them with multiple world regions seem to have fared better, as their airlines have been able to adapt and move capacity around. Mexico (MEX) is a good example of this, having been able to expand more quickly into North America but also build capacity back to Europe and Latin America.
See the full set of data now >>