Glossary

What is a Hub Airport?

Hub airports are airports that serve as central transfer points, from which flights come in and go out to other cities.
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The term “hub” is borrowed from the anatomy of a wheel—the center of a wheel is the hub, from which spokes radiate to the outer edge. The hub-and-spoke system allows airlines to serve more cities with fewer planes, since they can funnel travelers into a few hubs rather than serve their full slate of destinations with direct flights from every airport.

In addition to hubs, sometimes airlines ramp up service in “focus cities.” The best way to understand focus cities is as a smaller hub, typically serving more limited routes within a region.

What airports are hubs?

You may be familiar with some hub airports because that’s where you’ll usually have a layover. Travelers who live in a smaller market like Tucson, Eugene, or Tampa may have some direct flights available, but many itineraries will require them to fly first to a hub airport and from there to their final destination—even if that route doesn’t necessarily look like it makes sense geographically.

Which cities and airports are airline hubs?

Here’s a breakdown of some of the major hub airports around the world, by continent, plus some of the major airlines for which that airport is a hub. 

What are some of the major hub airports in the USA? 

  • Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI): Southwest Airlines
  • Boston Logan International Airport (BOS): Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT): American Airlines
  • Chicago-O’Hare International Airport (ORD): American Airlines, United Airlines
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW): Southwest Airlines
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW): American Airlines
  • Dallas Love Field (DAL): Southwest Airlines
  • Denver International Airport (DEN): Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW): Delta Air Lines
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines
  • Houston-Intercontinental Airport (IAH): United Airlines
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines
  • McCarran International Airport Las Vegas (LAS): Southwest Airlines
  • Miami International Airport (MIA): American Airlines
  • Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP): Delta Air Lines
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR): United Airlines
  • New York-JFK International Airport (JFK): American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways
  • New York-LaGuardia International Airport (LGA): American Airlines, Delta Air Lines
  • Oakland International Airport (OAK): Southwest Airlines
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO): Southwest Airlines
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): American Airlines, Southwest Airlines
  • Philadelphia International Airport (PHL): American Airlines
  • Portland International Airport (PDX): Alaska Airlines
  • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC): Delta Air Lines
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO): Alaska Airlines, United Airlines
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA): Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines
  • Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC): Alaska Airlines
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD): United Airlines
  • Washington-Reagan International Airport (DCA): American Airlines
  • William P. Hobby Airport Houston (HOU): Southwest Airlines

What are some of the major hub airports in Europe?

  • Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD): Iberia, Ryanair, Easyjet
  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS): KLM
  • Barcelona El Prat Airport (BCN): Iberia, Vueling, Ryanair
  • Dublin Airport (DUB): Aer Lingus, Ryanair
  • Frankfurt Airport (FRA): Lufthansa
  • Istanbul Airport (IST): Turkish Airlines
  • Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO): Alitalia, Vueling
  • London-Gatwick Airport (LGW): Aer Lingus, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways
  • London-Heathrow Airport (LHR): British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways
  • Moscow-Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO): Aeroflot
  • Munich Airport (MUC): Lufthansa
  • Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG): Air France

What are the major hub airports in Asia?

  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH): Etihad
  • Bangkok-Suvarnabhumni Airport (BKK): Thai Airways 
  • Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK): Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport Mumbai (BOM): Air India
  • Dubai International Airport (DXB): Emirates
  • Hong Kong International Airport (HKG): Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, HK Express
  • Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL): Air India
  • Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK): Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia AirAsia
  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL): Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines
  • Seoul-Incheon International Airport (ICN): Asiana Airlines, Korean Air
  • Shanghai-Hongqiao International Airport (SHA): China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines
  • Shanghai-Pudong International Airport (PVG): Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines
  • Singapore Changi Airport (SIN): Singapore Airlines
  • Tokyo-Haneda Airport (HND): All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines
  • Tokyo-Narita International Airport (NRT): All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines

What are the major hub airports in South America?

  • Bogotá-El Dorado International Airport (BOG): Avianca, Copa Airlines Colombia, LAN Colombia
  • Brasília International Airport (BSB): Avianca Brazil, TAM, Gol Airlines
  • Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport (EZE): Aerolíneas Argentinas, LATAM Argentina
  • Lima-Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM): LATAM Peru
  • Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport (GIG): Gol Airlines
  • Santiago-Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL): LATAM
  • São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (GRU): LATAM, Avianca Brazil, Gol Airlines

What are the major hub airports in Africa?

  • Addis Ababa-Bole International Airport (ADD): Ethiopian Airlines
  • Algiers-Houari Boumediene Airport (ALG): Air Algérie
  • Cairo International Airport (CAI): Air Cairo, Egypt Air, 
  • Cape Town International Airport (CPT): South African Express, Mango
  • Casablanca-Mohammed V International Airport (CMN): Air Arabia, Royal Air Maroc
  • Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB): South African Airways, Comair, Kulula, Mango
  • Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO): Kenya Airways

What are the major hub airports in Australia and New Zealand?

  • Sydney Airport (SYD): Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar Airways
  • Melbourne Airport (MEL): Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar Airways
  • Brisbane Airport (BNE): Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar Airways
  • Auckland Airport (AKL): Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia

Which airline has the most hubs?

American Airlines is the world’s largest airline, with 10 hubs in the United States. Delta Air Lines has nine US hubs.

What is the biggest airport hub in the world?

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport claims the top spot on a number of lists, including the busiest airport in the world in passenger traffic, and it’s also home to the world’s largest airport hub for Delta Air Lines. 

Last Updated 
November 26, 2019