The Ultimate Guide to Airline Hubs Globally [115+ Airlines]

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Commercial aviation is one of the world’s most fascinating sectors. As a subset of leisure, tourism, and logistics industries, airlines have never been more crucial than today. The great COVID-19 outbreak of 2019-2020 has more or less brought the world to its knees in dramatic fashion.

A global pandemic has translated into economic seizures, especially due to the massive reduction in travel and therefore aviation. Despite aviation being a low-margin business due to the volatility of oil, high CapEx, and several different factors, it is still one of the most important businesses in the world.

When an airline is formed, they’ll usually designate a specific city from which its operational tendrils form a web. Hubs have become pervasive throughout aviation. Simply put, it’s much easier to strive for operational optimization if you only have to worry about 1 core city through which you operate flights.

In this guide, we’ll investigate what an airline hub is, why it’s important, and then break all of the major airlines down into their hub cities. Let’s get started.

Table of contents

Table of Contents

What is an Airline Hub?

Emirates hub and spoke route network
An airline hub serves as an intermediate connection point to other destinations globally. Image Credit: Emirates

According to strategic aviation consultant Stephen Holloway, “An airline hub may be defined as an airport that receives many passengers or as an airport that serves as an operating base of an airline, whether or not the airline allows for connecting traffic.”

The easiest way to describe a hub for a given airline is to attribute the amount of traffic as a percentage of its total traffic. Alternatively, you can also calculate the percentage of flights operated by a particular airline in a specific airport.

There are 2 main operating strategies for airlines:

  • Hub and Spoke: Hub and spoke airlines operate lots of “shorter” flights to/from a central hub city where they then operate long-haul flights.
    • Airlines like Qantas, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and EL AL are some of the best examples of hub and spoke airlines.
  • Point-to-Point: Point-to-point airlines operate numerous smaller flights, regardless of capacity or size, thereby eliminating the need to connect at a hub city.
    • Airlines like Southwest, Hainan Airlines, Ryanair, and easyJet are some of the best examples of point-to-point airlines
Hub and Spoke versus Point to Point
Image Credit: The Geography of Transport Systems

Generally, smaller planes are used on point-to-point routes due to the lower demand relative to massive hub-and-spoke routes. For example, a point-to-point Hainan Airlines flight from New York City (JFK) to Chengdu (CTU) is operated using a 787-9, and Air China operates a hub-and-spoke route from New York City (JFK) to Beijing (PEK) using a 747-8, which can hold more passengers.

To visualize, check out Etihad’s route network:

Etihad Route Network
Etihad’s route network is a perfect example of a hub-and-spoke model. Image Credit: Etihad Airways

Most of Etihad’s flights go through Abu Dhabi. This is consistent with the hub-and-spoke philosophy, which is capable of funneling travelers across the world via its hub in Abu Dhabi.

On the flip-side, let’s look at Hainan Airlines’ international route network below:

Hainan Airlines route map
Hainan Airlines can operate unique routes with fuel-efficient aircraft with its point-to-point model. Image Credit: Hainan Airlines

As you can tell, Hainan Airlines operates several different flights and covers a lot of area with its point-to-point network. That means customers can fly on lesser-known routes like from New York City (JFK) to Chongqing (CKG) without having to inconveniently stop in Beijing (PEK) or Shanghai (PVG).

Bottom Line: An airline hub is advantageous because air transportation can be consolidated into 1 destination, which allows for a greater scale. If an airline can fill larger aircraft easily, it will realize significant cost savings. However, with technological advances from fuel-efficient aircraft and a greater appetite for convenient nonstop flights in the point-to-point model, the hub-and-spoke model is quickly losing favor. 

What is a Focus City?

We discussed what hub airports are in the above section, so let’s briefly touch on focus cities. According to the Encyclopedia of Transportation: Social Science and Policy, focus cities are defined as a “destination from which an airline operates limited point-to-point routes.”

By extension, a focus city appeals to the “local” instead of connecting markets much more than a hub city.

Why Should I Care About Airline Hubs?

Airline hubs are crucial for numerous things. Since Upgraded Points has always been focused on points and premium cabin travel, we’ll be talking about airline hubs as they relate to these topics.

Knowing which hubs exist for a particular airline will be extremely important in crafting an award itinerary. After all, how can you plan a Cathay Pacific first class award flight without first knowing that Cathay Pacific’s hub is Hong Kong (HKG)?

The other, less obvious reasons why you should care about airline hubs may be as follows:

  • Hub-and-spoke routes can sometimes have the most award availability. Sometimes, it’s the other way around, where the airline’s ultra-premium routes have sufficient revenue demand, thereby drying up award availability.
  • Figuring out where airline hubs are can help you plan a journey with as little time wasted possible actually going through airports and in the air.
  • Airline hubs offer the most operational flexibility. Because most of their flights go through hubs, you can then plan a connecting flight with a convenient schedule.
  • Airlines often try to offer attractive award availability or cheaper tickets if you go through a hub-and-spoke route, instead of a point-to-point route.
    • One of the best examples of this would be comparing an itinerary on Delta nonstop from Los Angeles (LAX) to Paris (CDG). Award availability will be rare/expensive, but if you choose to go from Los Angeles (LAX) to Salt Lake City (SLC) and then to Paris (CDG), you’ll find huge award availability.
    • One other example would be comparing an itinerary on American Airlines nonstop from Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG). Award availability will be nearly impossible to find, but if you start your search in Phoenix (PHX) or San Diego (SAN) and go through Los Angeles (LAX) and then finally to Hong Kong (HKG), you’ll see a ton of award availability that isn’t bookable with the nonstop option. This is known as married segment availability.

The Airline Hubs for the Top 115+ Major Airlines

Now that we’ve demonstrated why you should care about figuring out key airline hubs globally as well as their associated airlines, let’s get into our list of the top airlines in the world and discuss where they hold hub operations.

All of these images and maps were provided via searches on Great Circle Mapper, so keep that in mind. Additionally, all airline hubs are shown as red dots, while all airline focus cities are shown as blue dots.

The organization of these airlines hereafter is in alphabetical order.

Aegean Airlines

Aegean Airlines hubs and focus cities
Aegean Airlines hubs and focus cities

Aegean Airlines is the flag carrier of Greece. This Star Alliance airline maintains an operational strategy and focus of mostly regional flights. Unfortunately, Aegean Airlines doesn’t operate any flights to/from the U.S. This isn’t terribly surprising, as the country as a whole is still recovering from a historic sovereign debt crisis.

Aegean Airlines maintains airport hubs in:

  • Athens (ATH)*
  • Larnaca (LCA)
  • Macedonia (SKP)

Aegean Airlines maintains focus cities in:

  • Chania (CHQ)
  • Heraklion (HER)
  • Kalamata (KLX)
  • Rhodes (RHO)

* Airline headquarters

Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus hubs and focus cities
Aer Lingus hub and focus cities

Aer Lingus is the flag carrier of Ireland. One interesting fact about Aer Lingus is that it’s not the largest airline in Ireland. That honor goes to the famous ultra-low-cost carrier Ryanair. Aer Lingus was a state-owned airline, and through several corporate actions, it is now owned by IAG, which is the parent company that owns British Airways.

Aer Lingus has a strong long-haul presence, using A330, A350, or even A321XLR aircraft for its flights. Aer Lingus has many nonstop flights from the U.S., but its airport hub is:

  • Dublin (DUB)*

Additionally, Aer Lingus has 2 focus cities:

  • Cork (ORK)
  • Shannon (SNN)

* Airline headquarters

Aeroflot

Aeroflot hubs and focus cities
Aeroflot hub

Aeroflot is the state-owned flag carrier of Russia. If you’re thinking of flying to Russia, you’re probably going to end up flying on Aeroflot, one of the world’s oldest airlines. This SkyTeam partner maintains 1 sole hub:

  • Moscow-Sheremetyevo (SVO)*

* Airline headquarters

Aerolíneas Argentinas

Aerolineas Argentinas hubs and focus cities
Aerolineas Argentinas hub and focus cities

Aerolíneas Argentinas is the flag carrier of Argentina. It’s also the largest airline in Argentina. This SkyTeam partner has 2 hub airports, both in the capital city:

  • Buenos Aires-Aeroparque (AEP)*
  • Buenos Aires-Ministro (EZE)

Additionally, Aerolíneas Argentinas has focus cities in:

  • Córdoba (COR)
  • Santa Fe (ROS)

* Airline headquarters

Aeromexico

Aeromexico hubs and focus cities
Aeromexico hub and focus cities

Aeromexico is the flag carrier of Mexico. This SkyTeam partner has wide-ranging airline operations. Its flight range from simple, domestic short-haul flights to ultra-long-haul flights to Asia.

Currently, Aeromexico has 1 hub airport:

  • Mexico City (MEX)*

Additionally, Aeromexico maintains 2 focus cities:

  • Guadalajara (GDL)
  • Monterrey (MTY)

* Airline headquarters

AirAsia

AirAsia hubs and focus cities
AirAsia hub and focus cities

AirAsia is a low-cost carrier with operations all around Asia. Their focus is on Southeast Asia operations. As such, its hub airport is:

  • Kuala Lumpur (KUL)*

AirAsia also has several focus cities:

  • Kota Kinabalu (KBI)
  • Kuching (KCH)
  • Penang (PEN)
  • Senai (JHB)

* Airline headquarters

Air Astana

Air Astana hubs and focus cities
Air Astana hub cities

Air Astana is the flag carrier of Kazakhstan. It also happens to be a state-owned enterprise, which is majority-owned by the Kazakh Sovereign Wealth Fund. Air Astana doesn’t belong to an airline alliance, but it maintains numerous code-shares with Asian and European airlines such as Lufthansa and Asiana Airlines, respectively.

Air Astana has 2 hub airports:

  • Almaty (ALA)*
  • Nur-Sultan (TSE)

* Airline headquarters

Air Canada

Air Canada hubs and focus cities
Air Canada hubs and focus cities

Air Canada is one of the largest airlines in the world. With a respectable fleet size of 189, excluding subsidiaries, and 222 destinations globally, Air Canada can leverage its vast reach across many countries.

Chiefly, Air Canada maintains hubs in familiar airports:

  • Calgary (YYC)
  • Montréal (YUL)*
  • Toronto (YYZ)
  • Vancouver (YVR)

Furthermore, Air Canada has these focus cities operating some point-to-point routes:

  • Halifax (YHZ)
  • Québec City/Ottawa (YOW)
  • St. John’s, Newfoundland (YYT)

* Airline headquarters

Air China

Air China hubs and focus cities
Air China hubs and focus cities

Air China is the flag carrier of China and is also one of many state-owned airlines in China. Most known for being a Star Alliance airline and one of the largest airlines in the world, Air China’s route network is deep.

When you consider the large area of China, you’ll see why there are numerous hubs and focus cities. Air China has these hub airports:

  • Beijing (PEK)*
  • Beijing-Daxing (PKX)
  • Chengdu (CTU)
  • Shanghai (PVG)

Air China has these focus cities:

  • Chongqing (CKG)
  • Hangzhou (HGH)
  • Hohhot (HET)
  • Shenzhen (SZX)
  • Tianjin (TSN)
  • Wuhan (WUH)

* Airline headquarters

Air Dolomiti

Air Dolomiti hubs and focus cities
Air Dolomiti hub

Air Dolomiti is a unique airline. This airline has its headquarters in Verona, Italy. However, the airline operates out of Munich (MUC) as its sole operating base and hub.

Air Europa

Air Europa hubs and focus cities
Air Europa hub and focus cities

Air Europa is the third-largest Spanish airline after Iberia and Vueling. This SkyTeam airline uniquely operates a few U.S. flights using long-haul aircraft.

Air Europa maintains its hub airport at:

  • Madrid (MAD)

It also maintains 2 focus cities:

  • Palma de Mallorca (PMI)*
  • Tenerife (TFS)

* Airline headquarters

Air France

Air France hubs and focus cities
Air France hubs and focus cities

Air France is one of the largest airlines in the world, and certainly one of the largest SkyTeam airlines out there. With its crucial role connecting France to the rest of the world, Air France understandably has lots of focus cities.

Air France has 2 hub airports, both in Paris:

  • Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG)*
  • Paris-Orly (ORY)

Air France has 5 focus cities:

  • Bordeaux (BOD)
  • Lyon (LYS)
  • Marseille (MRS)
  • Nice (NCE)
  • Toulouse (TLS)

* Airline headquarters

Air India

Air India hubs and focus cities
Air India hubs and focus cities

Air India is the financially distressed flag carrier and state-owned enterprise airline of India. This Star Alliance carrier maintains hub airports at:

  • Mumbai (BOM)
  • New Delhi (DEL)*

Also, Air India maintains focus cities around the country:

  • Ahmedabad (AMD)
  • Bangalore (BLR)
  • Chennai (MAA)
  • Cochin (COK)
  • Kolkata (CCU)
  • Trivandrum (TRV)

* Airline headquarters

Air Macau

Air Macau hubs and focus cities
Air Macau hub

Air Macau is one of the major airlines connecting the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Macau to the rest of the world. This market is fulfilled primarily by Chinese tourism, though Air Macau operates flights to many destinations.

Owned by Air China, Air Macau operates flights solely from its hub airport in Macau:

  • Macau (MFM)*

* Airline headquarters

Air Malta

Air Malta hubs
Air Malta hub

Air Malta connects the rest of the world to Malta, a small island republic located south of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. Air Malta has its sole airline hub at:

  • Malta (MLA)*

* Airline headquarters

Air Mauritius

Air Mauritius hubs and focus cities
Air Mauritius hub

Known for perfect beaches, picturesque Mauritius is connected by its flag carrier, Air Mauritius. Located off the coast of East Africa, further out than Madagascar, Mauritius maintains 1 airline hub:

  • Mauritius (MRU)*

* Airline headquarters

Air Namibia

Air Namibia hubs and focus cities
Air Namibia hub and focus city

Air Namibia is the national airline and flag carrier of Namibia, the southwestern African nation. Known for its amazing safari experiences, Namibia is connected by Air Namibia via its airline hub:

  • Windhoek-Kutako (WDH)*

Also, Air Namibia has 1 focus airport in the same city:

  • Windhoek-Eros (ERS)

* Airline headquarters

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand hubs and focus cities
Air New Zealand hubs and focus cities

Air New Zealand is the most important Star Alliance partner in Oceania. This airline is the flag carrier of New Zealand and operates flights from its hub airports:

  • Auckland (AKL)*
  • Christchurch (CHC)
  • Wellington (WLG)

Additionally, Air New Zealand as 2 focus cities outside of New Zealand:

  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Sydney (SYD)

* Airline headquarters

Air Serbia

Air Serbia hubs and focus cities
Air Serbia hub and focus city

Air Serbia is the flag carrier of the eastern European country Serbia. This airline isn’t in a specific alliance, though it uses Etihad’s frequent flyer program, Etihad Guest.

Believe it or not, Air Serbia does operate flights from the U.S. to Serbia, and these flights are through New York City (JFK). Nevertheless, Air Serbia’s hub is located in:

  • Belgrade (BEG)*

Additionally, Air Serbia has a focus city in:

  • Niš (INI)

* Airline headquarters

Air Tahiti Nui

Air Tahiti Nui hubs and focus cities
Air Tahiti Nui hub

Air Tahiti Nui is one of the most famous airlines in the points community. You may be shocked to find that Air Tahiti Nui operates a whopping fleet size of 4 aircraft.

Air Tahiti Nui recently operated the longest ever domestic flight from Tahiti to Paris, which was done due to COVID-19.

These are all Boeing 787-9 aircraft, and they all fly from Air Tahiti Nui’s hub airport:

  • Pape’ete (PPT)*

* Airline headquarters

Air Transat

Air Transat hubs and focus cities
Air Transat hub and focus cities

Air Transat is a Canadian airline, and it’s currently in the process of being bought out by Air Canada. Being the third-largest airline in Canada, Air Transat maintains a single hub:

  • Montréal (YUL)*

Air Transat maintains 3 distinct focus cities:

  • Québec City (YQB)
  • Toronto (YYZ)
  • Vancouver (YVR)

* Airline headquarters

Aircalin

Aircalin hubs and focus cities
Aircalin hub and focus city

Aircalin is the flag carrier of New Caledonia, a popular tourist destination famous for its amazing beaches. New Caledonia is a special French territory off the northeast coast of Australia. It is divided into 3 provinces, but its total land area of 7,000+ square miles is impressive for a small territory.

Aircalin operates flights out of its hub:

  • Noumea (NOU)*

Also, Aircalin operates flights out of its focus city:

  • Hihifo (WLS)

* Airline headquarters

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines hubs and focus cities
Alaska Airlines hubs and focus cities

Alaska Airlines, originally known as a low-cost carrier, has solidified itself as one of the biggest airlines in the U.S. Focusing primarily on West Coast commercial aviation, Alaska Airlines maintains several hubs:

  • Anchorage (ANC)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Portland (PDX)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Seattle (SEA)*

Also, Alaska Airlines has its focus cities as follows:

  • San Diego (SAN)
  • San Jose (SJC)

* Airline headquarters

Alitalia

Alitalia hubs and focus cities
Alitalia hubs and focus cities

Alitalia is the financially troubled flag carrier airline of Italy. This airline will be re-nationalized, which means that the government of Italy will be assuming control of this entity.

Alitalia has been losing money for many years, but it still has continued at approximately the same activity levels without any attempt to restructure. As a result, Alitalia has many focus cities.

First, Alitalia operates 2 hubs:

  • Milan-Linate (LIN)
  • Rome (FCO)*

Next, Alitalia has 4 key focus cities:

  • Catania (CTA)
  • Milan-Malpensa (MXP)
  • Naples (NAP)
  • Palermo (PMO)

* Airline headquarters

Allegiant Airlines

Allegiant hubs and focus cities
Allegiant hubs and focus cities

Allegiant Air is one of the most successful low-cost carrier airlines with point-to-point operations. As you can see, Allegiant Air focuses on flights to/from Florida, as well as in the Midwest, Nevada, and Arizona.

It’s the ninth-largest commercial airline in the U.S., and its top hub airport bases include:

  • Fort Myers (RSW)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)*
  • Orlando-Sanford (SFB)
  • Phoenix-Mesa (AZA)
  • St. Petersburg-Clearwater (PIE)

Allegiant Air’s major focus cities are:

  • Bellingham (BLI)
  • Cincinnati (CVG)
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Grand Rapids (GRR)
  • Indianapolis (IND)

* Airline headquarters

American Airlines

American Airlines hubs and focus cities
American Airlines hubs and focus cities

American Airlines is the largest airline in the world by numerous measures. Even though American Airlines has tons of point-to-point routes, its international departures are concentrated through its hub airports and focus cities.

This Oneworld partner airline doesn’t obviously delineate which major bases are hub airports or focus cities. However, our best stab at American Airlines’ hub airports are:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)*
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • New York City (JFK)
  • Phoenix (PHX)

We believe American Airlines’ focus cities (which are self-proclaimed hubs by American Airlines) are:

  • Charlotte (CTA)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • New York-LaGuardia (LGA)
  • Reagan-National (DCA)

* Airline headquarters

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

All Nippon Airways hubs and focus cities
All Nippon Airways hubs and focus cities

All Nippon Airways is the largest airline in Japan. This Star Alliance partner maintains hub airports in:

  • Osaka-Itami (ITM)
  • Osaka-Kansai (KIX)
  • Tokyo-Haneda (HND)
  • Tokyo-Narita (NRT)

Also, ANA has focus cities in:

  • Fukuoka (FUK)
  • Nagoya (NGO)
  • Okinawa (OKA)
  • Sapporo (CTS)

Airline headquarters are located in Shiodome, Minato-ku, Tokyo.

Asiana Airlines

Asiana Airlines hubs and focus cities
Asiana Airlines hubs and focus city

Asiana Airlines is one of the 2 major airlines headquartered in South Korea, with the other one being Korean Air. Asiana Airlines maintains most of its international flights from 3 key airport hubs:

  • Busan (PUS)
  • Seoul-Gimpo (GMP)*
  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN)

Asiana Airlines has 1 focus city in:

  • Jeju (CJU)

* Airline headquarters

Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines hubs and focus cities
Austrian Airlines hub and focus cities

Austrian Airlines is the flag carrier of Austria. It is also owned by Lufthansa Group — the parent company that owns Lufthansa, SWISS International Air Lines, and more.

Austrian Airlines is the main airline connecting Austria to the rest of the world. Its global hub is:

  • Vienna (VIE)*

Its focus cities are:

  • Graz (GRZ)
  • Innsbruck (INN)
  • Salzburg (SZG)

* Airline headquarters

Avianca

Avianca hubs and focus cities
Avianca hubs and focus cities

Avianca is the flag carrier of Colombia. Although its headquarters are in Bogotá, its reach extends much further. With hubs and focus cities scattered all over Central and northern South America, you’ll have no shortage of flight options, thanks to its numerous airline subsidiaries, such as Avianca Ecuador or Avianca Peru.

Here are Avianca’s airline hubs:

  • Bogotá (BOG)*
  • Quito (UIO)
  • Lima (LIM)
  • San Salvador (SAL)
  • San Jose (SJO)

Here are Avianca’s focus cities:

  • Guatemala City (GUA)
  • San Pedro Sula (SAP)
  • Managua (MGA)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Medellín (MDE)
  • Cali (CLO)

* Airline headquarters

Azores Airlines

Azores Airlines hubs and focus cities
Azores Airlines hub and focus city

Azores Airlines is a Portuguese airline, formerly known as SATA. Azores Airlines operates an extremely small fleet size of 5 airplanes. Its hub airport is:

  • Ponta Delgada (PDL)*

Azores Airlines’ focus city is:

  • Lisbon (LIS)

* Airline headquarters

Azul Brazilian Airlines

Azul Brazilian Airlines hubs and focus cities
Azul Brazilian Airlines hubs and focus cities

Azul Brazilian Airlines is a Brazilian airliner founded by superstar airline CEO David Neeleman (founder of JetBlue). This airline is a major player in the regional aviation scene, with hubs in:

  • Belo Horizonte-Confins (CNF)
  • Campinas (VCP)
  • Recife (REC)

Also, Azul has numerous focus cities:

  • Curitiba (CWB)
  • Manaus (MAO)
  • Porto Alegre (POA)
  • Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont (SDU)
  • Salvador (SSA)
  • São Paulo-Congonhas (CGH)*
  • São Paulo-Guarulhos (GRU)*

* Airline headquarters

Bamboo Airways

Bamboo Airways hubs and focus cities
Bamboo Airways hub cities

Bamboo Airways is a Vietnamese startup airline owned by Vietnamese conglomerate FLC Group. Currently, Bamboo Airways maintains 2 hubs:

  • Hanoi (HAN)*
  • Ho Chi Minh City (SGN)

* Airline headquarters

Bangkok Airways

Bangkok Airways hubs and focus cities
Bangkok Airways hubs and focus cities

Bangkok Airways is a boutique regional airline that sometimes gets confused as a low-cost carrier. This airline consistently gets rave reviews and offers amazing perks, such as lounge access on economy flights and food, even on short-haul flights.

Its hubs are:

  • Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi (BKK)*
  • Phuket (HKT)
  • Chiang Mai (CNX)

Its focus cities are:

  • Krabi (KBV)
  • Koh Samui (USM)

* Airline headquarters

British Airways

British Airways hubs and focus cities
British Airways hubs and focus cities

British Airways is one of the world’s largest airlines. This Oneworld partner airline has 2 hubs in the same city:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR)*
  • London-Gatwick (LGW)

Additionally, British Airways maintains 1 U.S. focus city:

  • New York City (JFK)

* Airline headquarters

Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines hubs and focus cities
Brussels Airlines hub

Brussels Airlines is the flag carrier of Belgium and also the largest airline in that country. This relatively new airline was founded in 2006. Brussels Airlines is a subsidiary of Lufthansa Group, and it maintains 1 central hub at:

  • Brussels (BRU)*

* Airline headquarters

Cathay Dragon/Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon hubs and focus cities
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon hub and focus city

Cathay Pacific is one of the world’s most iconic airlines. The flag carrier of Hong Kong serves tons of countries worldwide and connects international travelers to the financial capital of Asia.

Also, Cathay Dragon, which was purchased by Cathay Pacific as Dragonair, is the regional airline responsible for many short- or medium-haul flights. As such, Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon both maintain a central hub airport:

  • Hong Kong (HKG)*

Also, Cathay Pacific has 1 focus city, and that is:

  • Taipei-Taoyuan (TPE)

* Airline headquarters

China Airlines

China Airlines hubs and focus cities
China Airlines hub and focus cities

China Airlines, despite its moniker, does not have a formal association with China. Instead, China Airlines is the flag carrier of Taiwan, which is not currently a part of mainland China.

China Airlines operates chiefly out of its hub:

  • Taipei-Taoyuan (TPE)*

Also, China Airlines operates flights to/from its focus cities:

  • Hong Kong (HKG)
  • Kaohsiung (KHH)
  • Taipei-Songshan (TSA)

* Airline headquarters

China Eastern

China Eastern hubs and focus cities
China Eastern hubs and focus cities

China Eastern is one of the largest airlines in the world and the second-largest airline in China. China Eastern is a SkyTeam alliance airline, and the airline is a state-owned enterprise with hubs in:

  • Beijing-Capital (PEK)
  • Kunming (KMG)
  • Qingdao (TAO)
  • Shanghai-Hongqiao (SHA)
  • Shanghai-Pudong (PVG)*
  • Xi’an (XIY)

Here are China Eastern’s focus cities (there’s a ton):

  • Chengdu (CTU)
  • Dalian (DLC)
  • Guangzhou (CAN)
  • Hangzhou (HGH)
  • Harbin (HRB)
  • Hefei (HFE)
  • Hong Kong (HKG)
  • Lanzhou (LHW)
  • Nanchang (KHN)
  • Nanjing (NKG)
  • Ningbo (NGB)
  • Taiyuan (TYN)
  • Wuhan (WUH)
  • Yantai (YNT)

* Airline headquarters

China Southern

China Southern hubs and focus cities
China Southern hubs and focus cities

China Southern is the largest airline in China by passengers carried, surpassing China Eastern by around 28%. China Southern is, just like Air China and China Eastern, a state-owned airline that is overseen by the government.

China Southern has hubs in:

  • Beijing-Capital (PEK)
  • Beijing-Daxing (PKX)
  • Chongqing (CKG)
  • Guangzhou (CAN)*
  • Shanghai-Pudong (PVG)
  • Shenzhen (SZX)
  • Ürümqi (URC)

Furthermore, China Southern has a ton of focus cities:

  • Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi (BKK)
  • Changchun (CGQ)
  • Chengdu (CTU)
  • Changsha (CSX)
  • Dalian (DLC)
  • Guiyang (KWE)
  • Haikou (HAK)
  • Hangzhou (HGH)
  • Harbin (HRB)
  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN)
  • Jieyang (SWA)
  • Kunming (KMG)
  • Sanya (SYX)
  • Shenyang (SHE)
  • Wuhan (WUH)
  • Xi’an (XIY)
  • Zhengzhou (CGO)
  • Zhuhai (ZUH)

* Airline headquarters

Condor

Condor hubs and focus cities
Condor hubs and focus cities

Condor is a German airline that was formerly a subsidiary of Thomas Cook Group. However, Thomas Cook Group declared bankruptcy and is being sold to Polish Aviation Group, which owns LOT Polish Airlines.

Currently, Condor maintains its hub at:

  • Frankfurt (FRA)*

Also, Condor has 6 focus cities:

  • Düsseldorf (DUS)
  • Hamburg (HAM)
  • Hannover (HAJ)
  • Leipzig/Halle (LEJ)
  • Munich (MUC)
  • Stuttgart (STR)

* Airline headquarters

Copa Airlines

Copa Airlines hubs and focus cities
Copa Airlines hub and focus cities

Copa Airlines is the flag carrier of Panama, the Central American logistics hub. Copa Airlines has 1 hub airport:

  • Panama City (PTY)*

Also, it has 2 focus cities:

  • Bogotá (BOG)
  • San José (SJO)

* Airline headquarters

Croatia Airlines

Croatia Airlines hubs and focus cities
Croatia Airlines hub and focus cities

Croatia Airlines is the Star Alliance carrier mainly operating flights to/from Croatia. The airline’s hub is:

  • Zagreb (ZAG)*

Croatia Airlines’ 3 focus cities are:

  • Dubrovnik (DBV)
  • Split (SPU)
  • Zadar (ZAD)

* Airline headquarters

Czech Airlines

Czech Airlines hubs and focus cities
Czech Airlines hub

Czech Airlines is a SkyTeam airline that doesn’t operate very many long-haul flights. Still, of its 30 destinations, you can find its sole airport hub at:

  • Prague (PRG)*

* Airline headquarters

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines hubs and focus cities
Delta Air Lines hubs and focus cities

Delta Air Lines is one of the biggest carriers in the world. As the flagship member of the SkyTeam alliance, it has tons of airport hubs:

  • Atlanta (ATL)*
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Detroit (DTW)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)
  • New York City (JFK)
  • New York-LaGuardia (LGA)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC)
  • Seattle (SEA)

Also, Delta considers these 2 cities to be focus cities:

  • Cincinnati (CVG)
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU)

* Airline headquarters

Edelweiss Air

Edelweiss Air hubs and focus cities
Edelweiss Air hub

Edelweiss Air is the Swiss leisure airline, which acts as a counterpart to SWISS International Air Lines. In fact, an analogy can be made that Edelweiss Air is to SWISS Air as Condor is to Lufthansa.

Nonetheless, it only has 1 airport hub:

  • Zurich (ZRH)*

* Airline headquarters

Egyptair

Egyptair hubs and focus cities
Egyptair hubs and focus cities

Egyptair is one of the 3 African Star Alliance partners, with the other 2 being Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways. Interestingly, it was founded in 1932, which makes it one of the oldest airlines in the world.

Its sole hub airport is in:

  • Cairo (CAI)*

Egyptair has 4 focus cities:

  • Alexandria (HBE)
  • Hurghada (HRG)
  • Luxor (LXR)
  • Sharm El Sheikh (SSH)

* Airline headquarters

EL AL

EL AL hubs and focus cities
EL AL hub

EL AL is the flag carrier of Israel. It has 1 airport hub:

  • Tel Aviv (TLV)*

* Airline headquarters

Emirates

Emirates hubs and focus cities
Emirates hub

Emirates is one of the world’s most famous airlines. It is a state-owned airline based in Dubai, and it’s also the largest airline in the Middle East. Here is its hub airport:

  • Dubai (DXB)*

* Airline headquarters

Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines hubs and focus cities
Ethiopian Airlines hub and focus city

Ethiopian Airlines is one of the fastest-growing African airlines in the world. This Star Alliance partner has a strategic location in its airport hub:

  • Addis Ababa (ADD)*

Additionally, Ethiopian Airlines has a focus city in the capital of Togo, a West African nation:

  • Lomé (LFW)

* Airline headquarters

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways hubs and focus cities
Etihad Airways hub

Etihad Airways is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates, despite being the second-largest airline in the country. Founded in 2003, this airline is one of the quintessential airlines that make up the “Big 3.”

Here is its airport hub:

  • Abu Dhabi (AUH)*

* Airline headquarters

Eurowings

Eurowings hubs and focus cities
Eurowings hub and focus cities

Eurowings is a subsidiary of Lufthansa Group, and it operates under low-cost carrier model with its hub:

  • Frankfurt (FRA)*

Also, Eurowings has these focus cities:

  • Berlin-Tegel (TXL)
  • Cologne/Bonn (CGN)
  • Düsseldorf (DUS)
  • Hamburg (HAM)
  • Hannover (HAJ)
  • Nuremberg (NUE)
  • Palma de Mallorca (PMI)
  • Pristina (PRN)
  • Salzburg (SLZ)
  • Stuttgart (STR)
  • Vienna (VIE)

* Airline headquarters

EVA Air

EVA Air hubs and focus cities
EVA Air hub and focus cities

EVA Air is the largest airline in Taiwan. It has its main airport hub:

  • Taipei-Taoyuan (TPE)*

It also has lots of focus cities:

  • Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi (BKK)
  • Hong Kong (HKG)
  • Kaohsiung (KHH)
  • Taipei-Songshan (SHA)

* Airline headquarters

Fiji Airways

Fiji Airways hubs and focus cities
Fiji Airways hub and focus city

Fiji Airways is the flag carrier of Fiji, and it operates most international flights out of its hub:

  • Nadi (NAN)*

Also, Fiji Airways has 1 other focus city:

  • Nausori (SUV)

* Airline headquarters

Finnair

Finnair hubs and focus cities
Finnair hub

Finnair is the flag carrier of Finland. This Northern European country only has 1 airport hub:

  • Helsinki (HEL)*

* Airline headquarters

French Bee

French bee hubs and focus cities
French Bee hub

French Bee is a low-cost carrier headquartered in France. It has 1 hub airport:

  • Paris-Orly (ORY)*

* Airline headquarters

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines hubs and focus cities
Frontier Airlines hub and focus cities

Frontier Airlines is a major low-cost carrier in the United States. It has 1 hub airport in:

  • Denver (DEN)*

And it has many focus cities:

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Cincinnati (CVG)
  • Cleveland (CLE)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • Philadelphia (PHL)
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU)
  • Trenton (TTN)

* Airline headquarters

Garuda Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia hubs and focus cities
Garuda Indonesia hubs and focus cities

Garuda Indonesia is the flag carrier of Indonesia, and it is famous for offering one of the world’s best international first class products. This SkyTeam airline has hubs in:

  • Bali-Denpasar (DPS)
  • Balikpapan (BPN)
  • Jakarta (CGK)*
  • Makassar (UPG)
  • Medan (KNO)
  • Surabaya (SUB)

Garuda Indonesia has 3 focus cities:

  • Manado (MDC)
  • Palembang (PLM)
  • Yogyakarta (JOG)

* Airline headquarters

Gol

GOL hubs and focus cities

GOL is a Brazilian low-cost carrier and one of the largest airlines in South America. This airline has airport hubs in:

  • Brasília (BSB)
  • Fortaleza-Pinto Martins (FOR)
  • Rio de Janeiro-Galeão (GIG)
  • São Paulo-Guarulhos (GRU)
  • São Paulo-Congonhas (CGH)

[/upgp-two-column-list]

Also, this airline has focus cities in tons of places:

  • Belo Horizonte-Confins (CNF)
  • Curitiba (CWB)
  • Manaus (MAO)
  • Porto Alegre (POA)
  • Recife (REC)
  • Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont (SDU)*
  • Salvador (SSA)
  • Vitória (VIX)

* Airline headquarters

Gulf Air

Gulf Air hubs and focus cities
Gulf Air hub

Gulf Air is the flag carrier of Bahrain, a small Middle Eastern country. It chiefly operates out of its hub in Muharraq:

  • Bahrain (BAH)*

* Airline headquarters

Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines hubs and focus cities
Hainan Airlines hubs and focus cities

Hainan Airlines is one of the world’s largest airlines. It is the largest civilian-run company in China, and it’s the fourth-largest airline in China. Hainan Airlines operates numerous point-to-point routes, as well as a solid number of hub-and-spoke routes, which provides a good mix within its network.

Hainan Airlines’ main hubs are:

  • Beijing-Capital (PEK)
  • Haikou (HAK)*
  • Shenzhen (SZX)
  • Xi’An (XIY)

Also, Hainan Airlines has focus cities in:

  • Changsha (CSX)
  • Chongqing (CKG)
  • Guangzhou (CAN)
  • Lanzhou (LHW)
  • Sanya (SYX)
  • Taiyuan (TYN)
  • Ürümqi (URC)

* Airline headquarters

Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines hub cities

Hawaiian Airlines is the main operator of international flights to/from Hawaii, as well as a large operator of domestic flights to/from Hawaii. It’s 2 hub airports are:

  • Honolulu (HNL)*
  • Kahului (OGG)

* Airline headquarters

HK Express

HK Express hubs and focus cities
HK Express hub

HK Express is the low-cost carrier in Hong Kong that was recently bought out by Cathay Pacific. This airline operates exclusively out of its airport hub:

  • Hong Kong (HKG)*

* Airline headquarters

Hong Kong Airlines

Hong Kong Airlines hubs and focus cities
Hong Kong Airlines hub

Hong Kong Airlines is owned by HNA Group, the same conglomerate that owns Hainan Airlines. However, Hong Kong Airlines operates flights out of its hub in:

  • Hong Kong (HKG)*

* Airline headquarters

Iberia

Iberia hubs and focus cities
Iberia hub

Iberia is the flag carrier of Spain. This Oneworld airline is smaller in network size than expected. Still, Iberia flies planes to/from its hub in Spain:

  • Madrid (MAD)*

* Airline headquarters

Icelandair

Icelandair hubs and focus cities
Icelandair hub

Icelandair is the flag carrier of Iceland, a huge tourist destination. Icelandair maintains a strong position offering both convenient nonstop flights to Iceland, as well as affordable connecting flights to Europe via Iceland.

Specifically, Icelandair operates flights from its airport hub in the capital city of Reykjavik:

  • Keflavik (KEF)*

* Airline headquarters

InterJet

Interjet hubs and focus cities
Interjet hub and focus cities

InterJet is a Mexican low-cost carrier, and it is the country’s third-largest airline, falling behind Aeroméxico and Volaris. InterJet’s airport hub is in:

  • Mexico City (MEX)*

Also, InterJet’s 3 focus cities are:

  • Cancún (CUN)
  • Guadalajara (GDL)
  • Monterrey (MTY)

* Airline headquarters

Japan Airlines (JAL)

Japan Airlines hubs and focus cities
Japan Airlines hubs and focus cities

Japan Airlines is Japan’s flag carrier, despite being smaller in size than its main competitor, ANA. Its headquarters are located in Shinagawa it has hub airports in:

  • Tokyo-Haneda (HND)
  • Tokyo-Narita (NRT)
  • Osaka-Itami (ITM)
  • Osaka-Kansai (KIX)

It also has focus cities in:

  • Fukuoka (FUK)
  • Nagoya (NGO)
  • Okinawa (OKA)
  • Sapporo (CTS)

JetBlue

JetBlue hubs and focus cities
JetBlue hub cities

JetBlue is one of the world’s most famous low-cost carriers. As one of the pioneers of this business model, JetBlue has focused on placing hub airports on the East Coast:

  • Boston (BOS)
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • New York City (JFK)*
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • San Juan (SJU)

* Airline headquarters

Jetstar

Jetstar hubs and focus cities
Jetstar hubs and focus cities

Jetstar is an Australian low-cost carrier that operates many short-haul, regional, and even international long-haul flights. Jetstar has hubs in:

  • Auckland (AKL)
  • Brisbane (BNE)
  • Cairns (CNS)
  • Gold Coast (OOL)
  • Melbourne (MEL)*
  • Sydney (SYD)

Additionally, Jetstar designates its focus cities as:

  • Adelaide (ADL)
  • Bali-Denpasar (DPS)
  • Perth (PER)

* Airline headquarters

Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways hubs and focus cities
Kenya Airways hub

Kenya Airways is the flag carrier of Kenya. It maintains its sole hub in its capital city:

  • Nairobi (NBO)*

* Airline headquarters

KLM

KLM hubs and focus cities
KLM hub

KLM is the Netherlands flag carrier. As one of the most important SkyTeam partners, KLM operates flights chiefly out of its hub airport:

  • Amsterdam-Schipol (AMS)*

* Airline headquarters

Korean Air

Korean Air hubs and focus cities
Korean Air hubs and focus cities

Korean Air is the flag carrier of South Korea. It operates flights out of 3 hub airports:

  • Busan (PUS)
  • Seoul-Gimpo (GMP)*
  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN)

Also, Korean Air flies through its focus city:

  • Jeju (CJU)

* Airline headquarters

La Compagnie

La Compagnie hubs and focus cities
La Compagnie hub

La Compagnie is a boutique airline that offers all-business class flights from its hub airport in Paris:

  • Paris-Orly (ORY)*

* Airline headquarters

LATAM

LATAM hubs and focus cities
LATAM hubs and focus cities

LATAM Airlines Group is Latin America’s largest airline holding company. Numerous different subsidiaries fall under its umbrella. This is why there are so many hub airports:

  • Bogotá (BOG)
  • Brasília (BSB)
  • Buenos Aires-Ezeiza (EZE)
  • Buenos Aires-Newbery (AEP)
  • Guayaquil (GYE)
  • Lima (LIM)
  • Quito (UIO)
  • Rio de Janeiro (GIG)
  • Santiago (SCL)*
  • São Paulo (GRU)

Here are LATAM’s non-hub focus cities:

  • Arequipa (AQP)
  • Asunción (ASU)
  • Belém (BEL)
  • Belo Horizonte (CNF)
  • Curitiba (CWB)
  • Cusco (CUZ)
  • Florianópolis (FLN)
  • Fortaleza (FOR)
  • Natal (NAT)
  • Porto Alegre (POA)
  • Rio de Janeiro Santas (SDU)
  • Salvador (SSA)
  • São Paulo-Congonhas (CGH)

* Airline headquarters

LOT Polish Airlines

LOT Polish Airlines hubs and focus cities
LOT Polish Airlines hubs and focus cities

LOT Polish Airlines is the flag carrier of Poland, and this airline has 2 hub airports:

  • Budapest (BUD)
  • Warsaw (WAW)*

Interestingly, LOT Polish Airlines designates the capital of Estonia as its focus city:

  • Tallinn (TLL)

* Airline headquarters

Lufthansa

Lufthansa hubs and focus cities
Lufthansa hub cities

Lufthansa is one of the largest and most well-known airlines in the world. This airline only has 2 hubs:

  • Frankfurt (FRA)*
  • Munich (MUC)

* Airline headquarters

Luxair

Luxair hubs and focus cities
Luxair hub

Luxair is a relatively unknown airline. The flag carrier of Luxembourg, this airline has a very small route network. Still, Luxair’s hub is in:

  • Luxembourg (LUX)*

* Airline headquarters

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines hubs and focus cities
Malaysia Airlines hubs and focus cities

Malaysia Airlines is a Oneworld partner that offers lots of flights to Malaysia, which contains over 800+ islands! Its airport hubs are in:

  • Kota Kinabalu (BKI)
  • Kuala Lumpur (KUL)*
  • Kuching (KCH)

Additionally, Malaysia Airlines has 1 focus city:

  • Penang (PEN)

* Airline headquarters

Middle East Airlines

Middle East Airlines hubs and focus cities
Middle East Airlines hub

Middle East Airlines is the flag carrier of one of the most historically significant countries in the world: Lebanon. This SkyTeam airline doesn’t operate many long-haul routes. Instead, it focuses on regional flights from its hub in:

  • Beirut (BEY)*

* Airline headquarters

Norwegian Air International

Norwegian Air International hubs and focus cities
Norwegian Air International hubs and focus cities

Norwegian Air International is one of the most well-known low-cost carriers in the world. Norwegian Air flies its planes to/from 2 hub airports:

  • London-Gatwick (LGW)
  • Oslo (OSL)*

Additionally, Norwegian Air has a ton of focus cities:

  • Barcelona (BCN)
  • Copenhagen (CPH)
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Helsinki (HEL)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • New York City (JFK)
  • Paris (CDG)
  • Rome (FCO)
  • Stockholm-Arlanda (ARN)

* Airline headquarters

Oman Air

Oman Air hubs and focus cities
Oman Air hub

Oman Air, as the name might suggest, is the flag carrier of the Sultanate of Oman. Located just east of the United Arab Emirates, Oman Air operates numerous long-haul flights, including some ultra-long-haul flights. However, all of its flights should depart from its hub:

  • Muscat (MCT)*

* Airline headquarters

Pakistan International Airlines

Pakistan International Airlines hubs and focus cities
Pakistan International Airlines hub cities

Pakistan International Airlines, or PIA, is the flag carrier and national airline of Pakistan. This airline operates flights between its 3 hub airports:

  • Islamabad (ISB)
  • Karachi (KHI)*
  • Lahore (LHE)

* Airline headquarters

Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines hubs and focus cities
Philippine Airlines hubs and focus cities

Philippine Airlines is the essential flag carrier airline connecting the Philippines to the rest of the world. This airline is a major player in global aviation, and it has its airline hubs in:

  • Cebu (CEB)
  • Clark (CRK)
  • Davao (DVO)
  • Manila (MNL)*

Also, it has 2 focus cities:

  • Kalibo (KLO)
  • Taipei-Taoyuan (TPE)

* Airline headquarters

Qantas

Qantas hubs and focus cities 1
Qantas hubs and focus cities

Qantas is the flag carrier of Australia. This ultra-famous airline has a reputation for being the safest airline in the world. In fact, this airline has never had a fatality on any of its jets.

Qantas maintains airport hubs in these essential airports:

  • Adelaide (ADL)
  • Brisbane (BNE)
  • Melbourne (MEL)
  • Perth (PER)
  • Sydney (SYD)*

Also, Qantas designates these airports as its focus cities:

  • Cairns (CNS)
  • Darwin (DRW)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Singapore (SIN)

* Airline headquarters

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways hubs and focus cities
Qatar Airways hub

Qatar Airways is the flag carrier of Qatar, one of the richest countries in the world. Located just east of Saudi Arabia, this airline operates one of the most famous business class products, the Qatar Airways QSuite.

You can fly on Qatar Airways for the most part by going through its hub airport:

  • Doha (DOH)*

* Airline headquarters

Royal Air Maroc

Royal Air Maroc hubs and focus cities
Royal Air Maroc hub and focus cities

Royal Air Maroc is the flag carrier of Morocco, and it operates most flights through its hub airport:

  • Casablanca (CMN)*

However, Royal Air Maroc has 2 other focus cities:

  • Marrakesh (RAK)
  • Tangier (TNG)

* Airline headquarters

Royal Brunei Airlines

Royal Brunei Airlines
Royal Brunei Airlines hub

Royal Brunei Airlines is the flag carrier and national airline of Brunei. This is one of the world’s richest countries, though it’s a controversial destination governed by Sharia law.

Royal Brunei Airlines flies to/from its hub in the capital:

  • Bandar Seri Begawan (BWN)*

* Airline headquarters

Royal Jordanian

Royal Jordanian Airlines hubs and focus cities
Royal Jordanian Airlines hub and focus city

Royal Jordanian is the flag carrier airline of the Middle Eastern country Jordan. It operates flights mostly from its hub airport:

  • Amman (AMM)*

Additionally, you’ll see flights operating to/from its sole focus city:

  • Aqaba (AQJ)

* Airline headquarters

RwandAir

RwandAir hubs and focus cities 1
RwandAir hub cities

RwandAir is the flag carrier of the African country Rwanda. It operates flights through its 2 hubs:

  • Cotonou (COO)
  • Kigali (KGL)*

* Airline headquarters

S7 Airlines

S7 Airlines hubs and focus cities
S7 Airlines hubs and focus cities

S7 is one of the largest airlines in Russia. The 2 hubs are:

  • Moscow-Domodedovo (DME)
  • Novosibirsk (OVB)*

There are 3 focus cities in S7’s classifications. Namely:

  • Irkutsk (IKT)
  • St. Petersburg (LED)
  • Vladivostok (VVO)

* Airline headquarters

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)

Scandinavian Airlines hubs and focus cities 1
Scandinavian Airlines hubs and focus cities

SAS, which is short for Scandinavian Airlines, is the flag carrier of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. As such, its 3 main hubs are in its capital cities:

  • Copenhagen (CPH)
  • Oslo (OSL)
  • Stockholm-Arlanda (ARN)*

SAS has 5 focus cities:

  • Bergen (BGO)
  • Gothenburg (GOT)
  • Stavanger (SVG)
  • Tromsø (TOS)
  • Trondheim (TRD)

* Airline headquarters

Saudia

Saudia hubs and focus cities
Saudia hubs

Saudia is the national carrier of Saudi Arabia, the largest Middle Eastern country. Saudia considers all these 3 cities to be its airport hubs:

  • Dammam (DMM)
  • Jeddah (JED)*
  • Riyadh (RUH)

* Airline headquarters

Shanghai Airlines

Shanghai Airlines hubs and focus cities
Shanghai Airlines hubs

Shanghai Airlines is a regional carrier subsidiary of China Eastern. It has 2 hub airports, though both are in the same city:

  • Shanghai-Hongqiao (SHA)*
  • Shanghai-Pudong (PVG)

* Airline headquarters

Singapore Airlines/SilkAir

Singapore Airlines hubs and focus cities
Singapore Airlines hub

Singapore Airlines is the flag carrier of Singapore. It also owns 2 regional subsidiaries in Scoot and SilkAir. Collectively, these 2 airlines have 1 airport hub:

  • Singapore (SIN)*

* Airline headquarters

South African Airways

South African Airways hubs and focus cities
South African Airways hub and focus city

South African Airways is the flag carrier of South Africa. As a result, it has 1 hub airport:

  • Johannesburg (JNB)*

It also has 1 focus city:

  • Cape Town (CPT)

* Airline headquarters

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines hubs and focus cities
Southwest Airlines hubs

Southwest Airlines has numerous operating bases, which will be considered hubs for this discussion. Here are all of Southwest Airlines’ hubs:

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Baltimore (BWI)
  • Chicago-Midway (MDW)
  • Dallas-Love Field (DAL)*
  • Denver (DEN)
  • Houston-Hobby (HOU)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Oakland (OAK)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • Phoenix (PHX)

* Airline headquarters

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines hubs and focus cities
Spirit Airlines hubs

Spirit Airlines is one of the U.S.’s largest low-cost carriers. In fact, it is the seventh-largest airline, which is impressive compared to juggernauts like Delta, United, and American Airlines.

Spirit Airlines’ main operating bases are:

  • Atlantic City (ACY)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
  • Detroit (DTW)
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Orlando (MCO)

Interestingly, Spirit Airlines’ headquarters is in Miramar, Florida, which is in the Miami metro area.

SriLankan Airlines

SriLankan Airlines hubs and focus cities
SriLankan Airlines hub

SriLankan Airlines is the Oneworld airline partner responsible for much of the connectivity in South Asia. Located off the coast of India, SriLankan Airlines is the flag carrier of Sri Lanka, which is the largest airline in Sri Lanka.

As the island nation is small, SriLankan Airlines operates flights only out of its capital:

  • Colombo (CMB)*

* Airline headquarters

Sun Country Airlines

Sun Country Airlines hubs and focus cities
Sun Country Airlines hub and focus cities

Sun Country Airlines is a U.S. low-cost carrier, similar to Spirit Airlines. However, it’s the 11th largest airline in the U.S., and it has 1 main hub:

  • Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)*

It focuses on flights to/from these 3 cities:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Portland (PDX)

* Airline headquarters

SWISS International Air Lines

Swiss International Air Lines hubs and focus cities
SWISS International Air Lines hub and focus city

SWISS International Air Lines is one of the world’s most famous airlines. The Star Alliance partner is owned by Lufthansa Group, and it operates tons of flights to/from its capital city:

  • Zurich (ZRH)*

Also, SWISS Air has 1 focus city:

  • Geneva (GVA)

* Airline headquarters

TAAG Angola Airlines

TAAG Angola Airlines hubs and focus cities
TAAG Angola Airlines hub

TAAG Angola Airlines is the flag carrier and national airline of the African country of Angola. It is 100% owned by the government of Angola, and it doesn’t fall under any major airline alliances.

TAAG has only 1 airline hub in Angola’s capital city:

  • Luanda (LAD)*

* Airline headquarters

TAP Air Portugal

TAP Air Portugal hubs and focus cities
TAP Air Portugal hubs

TAP Air Portugal is the main airline operating flights to/from Portugal. The flag carrier of Portugal and popular Star Alliance partner is famous for offering cheap connecting tickets to Europe via Portugal, both in economy and business class.

TAP Air Portugal has 2 hubs:

  • Lisbon (LIS)*
  • Porto (OPO)

It also has 1 focus city:

  • Madeira (FNC)

* Airline headquarters

Thai Airways

THAI Airways hubs and focus cities
THAI Airways hubs

Thai Airways is the flag carrier and majority government-owned airline of Thailand. Thai Airways is famous for its amazing first class product, and it’s no secret that Thai Airways mostly operates flights to/from its 2 hubs in Thailand:

  • Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi (BKK)*
  • Phuket (HKT)

* Airline headquarters

Transavia Airlines

Transavia hubs and focus cities
Transavia Airlines hubs and focus cities

Transavia is one of the low-cost carriers in Europe. It’s owned wholly by KLM, which makes it fall under the Air France-KLM Group.

It has 2 hub airports:

  • Amsterdam-Schipol (AMS)*
  • Brussels (BRU)

It also has 3 focus cities:

  • Eindhoven (EIN)
  • Groningen (GRQ)
  • Rotterdam (RTM)

* Airline headquarters

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines hubs and focus cities
Turkish Airlines hubs and focus city

Turkish Airlines is the flag carrier of Turkey, the quasi-European and Middle Eastern country. This airline has 3 hub airports:

  • Ankara (ESB)
  • Istanbul (IST)*
  • Istanbul-Sabiha (SAW)

Also, Turkish Airlines has 1 focus city:

  • Izmir (ADB)

* Airline headquarters

Ukraine International

Ukraine International Airlines hubs and focus cities
Ukraine International Airlines hub

Ukraine International Airlines is the flag carrier of Ukraine. This airline doesn’t belong to any major alliance, but the key hub airport is located in its capital:

  • Kiev (KBP)*

* Airline headquarters

United Airlines

United Airlines hubs and focus cities
United Airlines hubs

United Airlines is one of the world’s largest airlines and is one of the big 3 airlines in the U.S. Known for its Polaris Class product, United Airlines has numerous airline hubs:

  • Chicago (ORD)*
  • Denver (DEN)
  • Guam (GUM)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Newark (EWRK)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD)

* Airline headquarters

Uzbekistan Airways

Uzbekistan Airways hubs and focus cities
Uzbekistan Airways hub

Uzbekistan Airways is one of the core airlines in Central Asia, following the close lead of Air Astana. In this case, Uzbekistan Airways operates flights to/from the same country, Uzbekistan. Namely, it operates flights to/from its hub airport in the capital:

  • Tashkent (TAS)*

* Airline headquarters

Vietnam Airlines

Vietnam Airlines hubs and focus cities
Vietnam Airlines hubs and focus cities

Vietnam Airlines is one of the fastest-growing SkyTeam airline partners in the world. Its primary role is to serve as one of the arteries connecting the SkyTeam alliance to Southeast Asia, particularly the smaller cities in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam Airlines has 3 airport hubs:

  • Da Nang (DAD)
  • Hanoi (HAN)*
  • Ho Chi Minh City (SGN)

Vietnam Airlines also has 2 focus cities in neighboring Cambodia:

  • Phnom Penh (PNH)
  • Siem Reap (REP)

* Airline headquarters

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic hubs and focus cities
Virgin Atlantic hubs

Virgin Atlantic, based in Crawley, England, is one of the most beloved and popular airlines in the world. Operating as a daughter organization of Virgin Group, Virgin Atlantic plays a pivotal role in connecting the U.K. to the rest of the world.

Virgin Atlantic has 3 hubs:

  • London-Gatwick (LGW)
  • London-Heathrow (LHR)
  • Manchester (MAN)

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia hubs and focus cities
Virgin Australia hubs and focus cities

Virgin Australia is the other big-name airline under the Virgin Group umbrella. This time, Virgin Australia operates flights to/from Oceania.

The 4 main airport hubs are:

  • Auckland (AKL)
  • Brisbane (BNE)*
  • Melbourne (MEL)
  • Sydney (SYD)

While the main focus cities are:

  • Adelaide (ADL)
  • Gold Coast (OOL)
  • Perth (PER)

* Airline headquarters

Vistara

Vistara hubs and focus cities
Vistara hub

Vistara is one of the newest airlines to emerge in the commercial aviation scene. Most notable for its corporate structure being 51% owned by Tata Group and 49% owned by Singapore Airlines, this is undoubtedly one of the most prominent business ventures in aviation.

Currently, Vistara has only 1 airport hub:

  • New Delhi (DEL)*

* Airline headquarters

Volaris

Volaris hubs and focus cities
Volaris hubs and focus cities

Volaris is the second-largest airline in Mexico. Here are its hub airports:

  • Guadalajara (GDL)
  • Mexico City (MEX)*
  • Tijuana (TIJ)

Here are its focus cities:

  • Cancún (CUN)
  • León (BJX)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Monterrey (MTY)

* Airline headquarters

Vueling Airlines

Vueling Airlines hubs and focus cities
Vueling Airlines hubs

Vueling is the second-largest airline in Spain. Here are its 2 hubs:

  • Barcelona (BCN)*
  • Rome (FCO)

* Airline headquarters

WestJet

Westjet hubs and focus cities
WestJet hubs and focus cities

WestJet is a Canadian low-cost carrier. It has 3 hubs:

  • Calgary (YYC)*
  • Toronto (YYZ)
  • Vancouver (YVR)

Westjet also has 3 focus cities:

  • Edmonton (YEG)
  • Halifax (YHZ)
  • Winnipeg (YWG)

* Airline headquarters

XiamenAir

XiamenAir hubs and focus cities
XiamenAir hubs and focus cities

Xiamen Air is a SkyTeam partner connecting much of South China to the rest of the world. Here are the 3 hub cities:

  • Fuzhou (FOC)
  • Hangzhou (HGH)
  • Xiamen (XMN)*

It has these focus cities:

  • Changsha (CSX)
  • Chongqing (CKG)
  • Quanzhou (JJN)
  • Shanghai-Hongqiao (SHA)
  • Tianjin (TSN)

* Airline headquarters

Final Thoughts

In this guide, we talked in detail about the benefits and drawbacks of flying through airline hubs. We also compared 2 operational models: the hub-and-spoke model and the point-to-point model.

We discussed why points travelers should be interested in learning about airport hubs as they relate to each airline they’re interested in flying. For example, knowing where Cathay Pacific offers its first class product is half the battle, and you can bet that they operate these flights to/from its airport hub in Hong Kong.

Now, you have the best resource and the most comprehensive guide on where airline hubs are located around the world.


All content images credited to Great Circle Mapper.


Frequently asked questions

Which airports are hubs?

Many airports are hubs. It just depends on which airlines you’re talking about. For example, American Airlines has these airport hubs in the U.S.:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • New York City (JFK)
  • Phoenix (PHX)

Also, American Airlines’ focus cities are believed to be:

  • Charlotte (CTA)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • New York-LaGuardia (LGA)
  • Reagan-National (DCA

On the other hand, Delta Air Lines has these airport hubs:

  • Atlanta (ATL)*
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Detroit (DTW)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)
  • New York City (JFK)
  • New York-LaGuardia (LGA)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC)
  • Seattle (SEA)

Therefore, you’ll need to figure out which airline you want to learn about in order to find its hubs because each airline designates different cities as its hubs.

What is a hub for an airline?

According to strategic aviation consultant Stephen Holloway, “An airline hub may be defined as an airport that receives many passengers or as an airport that serves as an operating base of an airline, whether or not the airline allows for connecting traffic.”

In other words, if an airline has lots of traffic, flights, and general operations at a particular airport, that airport is considered a hub.

What is a hub and spoke topology?

Hub and spoke topology is a type of route network that describes connecting numerous minor destinations to a central, hub location. Then, long-haul flights universally depart from the hub airport. This is in contrast to a point-to-point model, which operates smaller, low-capacity airplanes on nonstop routes, even if they’re not between 2 major cities.

What are the benefits of the hub and spoke system?

Operationally, it is much easier to achieve economies of scale and lower OpEx when you employ a hub and spoke system. For example, Emirates can maintain all of its flight attendant bases and primarily only consider operations through 1 airport: Dubai (DXB).

Usually, hub and spoke models save airlines money. In many cases (except for hub captives), booking airplane tickets from hub-and-spoke model airlines results in cheaper fares. However, in some cases, booking flights as a hub captive (e.g. American Airlines in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW))) can result in diminished competition and higher fares.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

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