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What is exactly air connectivity? How can it be measured? And how well connected is Europe?

ACI EUROPE - in partnership with SEO Amsterdam Economics - released its Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2019 in June 2019, analysing the evolution of direct, indirect and total airport connectivity between 2009 and 2019. The report provides a comprehensive measurement and analysis of the way Europe’s air connectivity has evolved over the past 10 years.


Using the SEO NetScan connectivity model, the report provides indexes for direct, indirect and hub connectivity based on both quantitative and qualitative metrics. The airport connectivity index is made-up of both direct and indirect weekly frequencies, weighted by their quality. This means that this is not simply a measure of how many city pairs there are, or how many direct services there are. For the purposes of this report, connectivity is a composite measure of the number of destinations, the frequency of services and the quality of the connections (in the case of hubbing or indirect services).

Let’s begin by outlining the various types of air connectivity that airports facilitate. The following 4 definitions describe them and together they provide a qualitative and quantitative picture of how an airport links to the rest of the world:

-          Direct connectivity: These are the direct air services available from the airport – measured not just in terms of destinations, but also in terms of frequency (so for example, an airport with 5 daily flights to another airport, will register a higher score than one with only 4).

-          Indirect connectivity: This measures the number of places people can fly to, through connecting flights at hub airports from a particular airport. For example, if there is a flight to Amsterdam-Schiphol, Istanbul or Dubai – the large number of available onward connections from these airports expands the range of destinations available from the airport of origin. Indirect connections are weighted according to their quality, based on connecting time and detour involved with the indirect routing. For example, a flight from Manchester to Johannesburg via Paris-Charles de Gaulle will register a higher score than an alternative routing via Doha.   

-          Airport connectivity: As the name suggests, this is the most comprehensive metric for airport connectivity – taking into account both direct and indirect connectivity from the airport in question. Airport connectivity is defined as the sum of direct and indirect connectivity – thus measuring the overall level to which an airport is connected to the rest of the World, either by direct flights or indirect connections via other airports.

-          Hub connectivity: This is the key metric for any hub airport big (such as London Heathrow) or smaller (such as Keflavik). Essentially, it measures the number of connecting flights that can be facilitated by the hub airport in question – taking into account a minimum and maximum connecting times, and weighting the quality of the connections by the detour involved and connecting times.


Download the ACI EUROPE Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2019 here.



ACI EUROPE Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2018

ACI EUROPE Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2017 (Additional Appendices can be seen here)

ACI EUROPE Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2016

ACI EUROPE Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2015

ACI EUROPE Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2004-2014

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