Everyone who travels by air wants to get to their destinations directly but sometimes it’s just not possible. If every airport had flights to every other, airports around the world would be jammed with flights and the economics of it all would mean that many airlines would surely fold.
To counter this problem, we have hub airports and anyone who’s ever tried to book a flight from say Cardiff International Airport to New York’s JFK will know that it can’t be done directly and needs a stopover at a hub such as Amsterdam or Paris before continuing their journey.
So which are the main hub airports and which routes do they serve?
Living in the UK you’ll know that Heathrow
is the country’s main hub and would be the hub for European travellers were it not for Amsterdam
, Paris Charles de Gaulle
who are each positioning themselves to try to be the European hub of choice.
When you look at the routes served by the hub airports you get a glimpse of the former colonial days where many of the Heathrow flights are to Commonwealth countries, Madrid flights go to former Spanish dominions in Central and South America whilst the Dutch flights include parts of Indonesia.
Outside of Europe there are many other hub airports. In South Africa, Johannesburg’s OR Tambo
airport is a hub for the region whilst in the Middle East, Dubai
acts as the hub for flights to Australasia and the Far East.
The biggest hub in the US, and probably the world at the moment is Atlanta
which currently serves over 90m passengers a year, most of them flying on to destinations across the US, Canada, the Caribbean and South America.
In Australia, Sydney Airport
acts as the hub for onward flights to New Zealand, Asia and the island groups of Oceania as well as acting as a domestic hub for airports in the east of Australia.
Whilst seemingly inconvenient, hub airports can actually save you money. Instead of having a single price for a route or perhaps two if different airlines fly between the destinations, you can often choose from a range of budget airlines to get you to the hub and find that there will be several airlines flying out of the hub to your destination. Better still why not enjoy a night or 2 in the city and add another destination to your holiday plans, of course you can rent a car with Rhino
at any of them to explore!
So, next time you’re faced with a tricky journey including connections, don’t curse hub airports, they can actually save you money and save the environment!