Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between a Hub, a Spoke, and a Point to Point

Hub and Spoke vs Point to Point

The models “hub,” “spoke,” and “point to point” are found in the airlines’ networks. “Hub” and “spoke” are names taken from a bicycle wheel where the hub is its center and spokes  originate from this center and terminate at the circumference. A point-to-point network is a route where the origin and destination traffic is only focused on by an airline.

Hub and Spoke

A hub-and-spoke network is a route where an airline not only transports passengers between two points but also connects the passengers of distant points via its hub. Such routes are used as spokes connecting other cities via its hub. This model was originated from the U.S. carrier American Airlines. Currently, Emirates Airlines uses it the most. This model primarily requires different banks of flight arrivals and departures aiming to connect an arrival from city (Z) with a departure to city (Y,) at the hub (X). Highly attractive transit traffic is established by this model. Some other airlines contribute to it by filing a flight plan for origin and destination traffic. No doubt there are some shortcomings in this model. Operating the tight schedule on time to provide the next connection is very challenging. As there are more advantages than shortcomings, more and more carriers are adopting this model. Both time and money are saved for an airline by using this model. Passengers are also benefited by saving their time with this convenience by increased connection opportunities. A number of these hubs throughout their system are operated by such large airlines.

Point to Point

A point-to-point network is a route where origin and destination traffic is only focused upon by an airline. It means that the airline is only interested in transporting the passengers from a city of origin (X) to the city of destination (Y) and vice versa and is not interested in connecting passengers between (Z) and (Y) via (X). In this category, low-cost airlines such as the U.S. carrier Southwest Airlines comes into play. In its flights, the airline stops at several places picking up the short-distance passengers.


  1. Both models are used by the airlines for transporting their passengers from one point to another. Both have some pitfalls and benefits.

  2. In the hub-and-spoke model, the airline concerned has to develop different banks of flight arrivals and departures as hubs throughout the country whereas in a point-to-point model there is no such necessity.

  3. In a hub-and-spoke model, the punctuality of flights is mandatory otherwise the probability of missing a connection will increase.

  4. In a point-to-point model, flights stop at various locations increasing the travel time.

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