Saturday, 25 April 2020

The World's busiest routes

OAG has been reporting on the world’s busiest routes and their key metrics for a number of years now. In this year’s version of Busiest Routes, OAG has taken the opportunity to expand on the categories to bring more insight into some of the world’s most popular routes. Since preparing this years’ report, however, the Covid-19 pandemic has taken hold, having a significant impact on global aviation.

For this reason, the 2020 version of Busiest Routes covers data for the calendar year 2019, establishing a baseline for analysis and recovery in the future.


Top 10 Busiest International Routes


– The busiest international route in 2019 was Hong Kong (HKG)-Taipei (TPE) with 8 million seats flown, equivalent to around 22,000 each day.

– All but one of the Top 10 busiest international routes are located in Asia Pacific with a cluster around Hong Kong (HKG), Singapore (SIN) and Bangkok (BKK). Four routes connect Hong Kong to other airports in Asia, three connect Singapore to other airports in Asia and three connect Bangkok to other airports in Asia.

– Kuala Lumpur (KUL)-Singapore (SIN) is the shortest of the Top 10 busiest international routes at just 160 nm (296 km). 

– The only non-Asian route is New York JFK (JFK) - London Heathrow (LHR) which is also by far the longest of the Top 10 busiest international routes at 2991 nm (5563 km). It is ranked 8th despite
the availability of alternative routes between a number of New York airports and a number of
London airports.


Top 10 Busiest Domestic Routes


– Nine of the Top 10 busiest domestic routes are in Asia Pacific. – The busiest by some margin is Jeju (CJU) – Seoul (GMP) with 17 million annual seats, equivalent to around 48,000 on average each day. Jeju is a popular holiday destination for Koreans and although the flight from Seoul is relatively short, at 243nm (451km), as an island there are fewer other transport options for reaching it.

– Four of the Top 10 busiest domestic routes involve Tokyo’s Haneda airport i.e. Haneda to Sapporo
(CTS), Fukuoka (FUK), Okinawa (OKA) and Osaka Itami (ITM).

– Haneda (HND)-Osaka Itami (ITM) is the shortest of the Top 10 busiest domestic routes at 218nm (400km). – Australia, China and India each have one route in the Top 10 busiest domestic routes. 



The longest routes are those with the greatest distance between the two points in nautical miles. 

 Top 10 Longest Domestic Routes
– Unsurprisingly the Top 10 longest domestic routes are located in the two geographically largest
countries on Earth, the United States and the Russian Federation.

– All seven of the longest routes within the U.S. connect Hawaii to the Continental US, while
the three Russian routes connect Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) to the far east
of the country. 

Top 10 Longest International Routes
– The Top 10 longest international routes range from as much as 8,277 nm down to 7,329 nm. With the distance from one side of the earth to the other around 10,800 nm (circumference is 21,639 nm)
there may be few remaining large markets which cannot yet be served with non-stop flights.

– The longest international route is between Newark (EWR) and Singapore (SIN).

– There are three pairs of similar routes among the Top 10. These are Singapore (SIN) to Los Angeles
(LAX) and San Francisco (SFO), Sydney (SYD) to Houston (IAH) and Dallas (DFW), and Auckland
(AKL) to Doha (DOH) and Dubai (DXB).


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