Ever since seeing the Facebook friendship map, Nathan Yau at Flowingdata has been itching for an excuse to play with great circles again. Yau was inspired by Aaron Koblin’s classic Flight Patterns map, but instead of looking at all flights (above); he wanted to break the map down by each individual airline and see where each one flew.
Yau created his maps based off non-stop domestic flights by major air carriers during February 2011. Yau counted the arriving and departing flights between airports, and totaled them by airline. He used brighter lines to represent more arriving and departing flights, and blue lines to represent flights with the heaviest traffic; this makes it easy to spot each airline’s hub(s) and the places they fly to the most. Check out the maps below.
Southwest flies all over the country, with a heavy concentration in the southwest.
Delta flies everywhere as well, but also includes flights to Alaska and Hawaii, with their largest hub in Atlanta at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
United has hubs in the midwest (Chicago’s O’Hare) and the west coast (San Francisco). They also have flights to all major Hawaiian islands.
American has hubs in Dallas/Fort Worth and New York’s JFK.
Continental is very similar to American, except their headquarters are in Houston, Texas.
Pretty obvious where JetBlue goes, and they’re Yau’s favorite.