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Asia Pacific Megahubs reflect soaring demand for air travel

Author: Vicky Karantzavelou / Date: Thu, 09/20/2018 - 13:35
Singapore Changi Airport.
Singapore Changi Airport.

Asia Pacific’s leading airports perform strongly on the OAG Megahubs International Index 2018, and South East Asian airports continue to dominate low-cost flight connectivity.

SINGAPORE - Six of Asia Pacific’s largest airports are amongst the Top 20 most connected airports worldwide according to OAG’s International Megahubs Index 2018, which ranks those airports with the highest ratio of scheduled international connections to the number of destinations served by the airport. Four of Asia Pacific’s five largest Megahubs are located in South East Asia, with Singapore Changi ranked 8th globally, followed by Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International in 10th, Kuala Lumpur International in 12th and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi in 14th. Hong Kong International placed 13th, while Seoul Incheon rose from 17th in 2017 to 15 in 2018. A strong perfomer on this year’s Index is Tokyo Haneda, which leapt from 28th globally in 2017 to 21st in 2018.

Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore once again claim the top rankings on the International Low-Cost International Megahubs section of the Index. Ongoing low-cost airport infrastructure development, route network expansions and seat capacity growth enabled Kuala Lumpur International, home of the region’s largest low-cost carrier AirAsia, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International and Singapore Changi to retain the top 3 global rankings earned in 2017. This year’s breakout low-cost hub performer was Manila Ninoy Aquino International, which jumped from 12th place in 2017 to 4th in 2018, with its dominant carrier Cebu Pacific operating one-third of all flights. 

With capacity limits stretched and domestic routes comprising a high volume of flights offered, Chinese airports remained outside the top 20. Shanghai Pudong International is once again China’s most internationally connected airport, placing 24th, with Guangzhou Baiyun and Beijing Capital International, which is the world’s largest airport for scheduled airline seat capacity, residing in 31st and 32nd spots, respectively. Eyes are now starting to turn towards Beijing Daxing International Airport, which is scheduled to open as the world’s biggest airport in 2019 and is likely to place a strong focus on international connectivity.

Mayur Patel, Regional Sales Director JAPAC for OAG, said: “Robust demand for international air travel is making Asia-Pacific a pivotal region for connecting flights, and the continued year-round growth of Chinese outbound travel is a decisive factor. Asia’s dominance is clear to see but we are likely to see some interesting movements when the new Beijing airport opens. With China driving air travel growth, we expect Hub connectivity to Hong Kong, currently undergoing unprecedented growth, driven by mainline operators (Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon) will undoubtedly see further evolution.”

Asia Pacific’s Top 5 Most Connected Megahubs:
1. Singapore Changi (SIN)
2. Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International (CGK)
3. Kuala Lumpur International (KUL)
4. Hong Kong International (HKG)
5.Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK)

In Mainland China:
Shanghai Pudong International – 24th
Guangzhou Baiyun – 31st
Beijing Capital International – 32nd
In the International Low-Cost Megahubs section, the top 7 global rankings are from Asia Pacific:

  • Kuala Lumpur International, home of Asia’s largest low-cost carrier AirAsia,
  • Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International – Garuda Indonesia
  • Singapore Changi  - Singapore Airlines
  • Manila Ninoy Aquino International – Cebu Pacific
  • Thailand Don Muang – Thai Air Asia
  • India Delhi – Indi Go
  • Korea Incheon – Korean Airlines


Vicky Karantzavelou

Co-Founder & Chief Editor

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.