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2023’s Top US Domestic Megahub: Chicago O’Hare Airport

Chicago O’Hare International Airport IATA/ICAO Code: ORD/KORD CEO: Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) Commissioner Jamie Rhee Runways : 4L/22R – 2,286m (7500 ft) |4R/22L – 2,461m (8075 ft) |9L/27R – 2,286m (7500 ft) |9C/27C – 3,428m (11,245 ft) |9R/27L – 2,428m (7,967 ft) |10L/28R – 3,962m (13,000 ft) |10C/28C – 3,292m (10,801 ft) |10R/28L – 2,286m (7500 ft) Airlines: American Airlines, United Airlines Country: United States Passenger Count : 54,020,339 (2021) Terminals: Terminal 1 |Terminal 2 |Terminal 3 |Terminal 5
Summary O’Hare is a top US domestic airport megahub with routes to almost every corner of the US.
It has non-stop flights to 214 destinations worldwide across all inhabited continents.
United Airlines dominates flights at O’Hare, with American Airlines in second place.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport is one of the great mega hubs of the United States and is one of the busiest airports in the world. In 2023, O’Hare served almost 74 million passengers in 2023 (still down from the pre-pandemic high of 84 million). Add in nearby Chicago–Midway International Airport and the two Chicago airports served almost 100 million passengers in 2023. OAG Megahubs named O’Hare the Top US Domestic Airport Megahub in 2023, and it boasts routes to almost every corner of the United States.
A connected airport
O’Hare has grown to become one of the world’s top airports with eight runways. O’Hare bears no resemblance to the original airfield built for C-54 military transports in World War II (it is named after aviator Edward “Butch” O’Hare – the first US Navy recipient of the Medal of Honor in WWII). For many years (between 1963 and 1998), it was the busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic.
Photo: Wirestock Creators | Shutterstock
O’Hare has non-stop flights to around 214 destinations worldwide – including all six inhabited continents. In 2022, OAG Megahubs named it the most connected airport in the world (displacing London’s Heathrow). However, whereas New York’s JFK and London’s Heathrow are massive hubs for international flights, O’Hare has a large percentage of domestic flights. The United States remains the largest domestic aviation market in the world (ahead of China and the European Union).
O’Hare is a hub for United Airlines and American Airlines and a base for Spirit Airlines. The dominant carrier at O’Hare is United Airlines, which operates almost half (48%) of all the flights out of the airport (American Airlines comes in second place).
The Top US Domestic Airport Megahub
According to OAG Megahubs, the Chicago O’Hare International Airport tops the Top 25 US Domestic Airport Megahubs list. The list ranks the airports with the highest ratio of possible scheduled connections to the number of destinations served by that airport. Following O’Hare, Atlanta is in second place (with Delta Air Lines operating 75% of the flights), and Denver is third (where United Airlines also operates 50% of the flights).
Data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics show the busiest domestic routes in 2023 for O’Hare are; Los Angeles (1.15 million passengers), New York-LaGuardia (1.1 million passengers), Denver (1 million passengers), Orlando (880,000 passengers), and San Francisco (869,000 passengers).
Rank Airport Rank in 2019 Dominant Carrier (domestic flights) Share of flights 1 Chicago O’Hare Intl Airport 1 United Airlines 48% 2 Atlanta Intl Airport 2 Delta Air Lines 75% 3 Denver Intl Airport 3 United Airlines 50% 4 Dallas/Fort Worth Intl Airport 5 American Airlines 84% 5 Charlotte 4 American Airlines 86%
Photo: On The Run Photo | Shutterstock
OAG Megahubs states Chicago O’Hare is the 10th busiest airport in the world (down from 3rd in 2019). Regarding Global Airport Megahubs, London Heathrow again topped the list, followed by New York’s JFK Airport. O’Hare did not rank in the top 10 Global Airport Megahubs for North America.
What are your thoughts about Chicago O’Hare? Let us know what you think in the comment section.



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