The world's busiest passenger air routes

In our new monthly feature, Routesonline reveals the top 20 busiest air routes in the world by passenger numbers and analyses the services growing at the fastest pace.

Ninety percent of the top 20 most in-demand flights on Earth were in the Asia-Pacific region during July 2017, new research by Routesonline has found, with no routes from Europe or the Americas making the list. 

The busiest flight in the world during the month was Jeju International (CJU)-Seoul Gimpo International (GMP), a service that links the largest island off the coast of the Korean Peninsula with the capital city of South Korea.

More than 1.28 million passengers travelled the 450km between the two airports – almost 600,000 passengers more than the second busiest route, Sapporo New Chitose (CTS)-Tokyo International (HND). The 1.28 million figure was also 94,000 more than the number who travelled on the route during June, and 300,000 higher than July 2016.

In total, there were 5,858 flights between Jeju International and Seoul Gimpo International in July 2017, equivalent to an average of 189 per day. The average base fare for paid the 65 minute hop was $86.70.

The research, which used OAG to analyse the top 50 routes in the world by capacity in July 2017 and then ranked them by passenger statistics on Sabre, found that Asia-Pacific dominated the top 20 busiest flights in the world, with just two routes outside the region making the table.

Sydney Kingsford Smith (SYD)-Melbourne Airport (MEL) was the third most in-demand flight with 663,037 passengers, while Jeddah (JED)-Riyadh King Khalid (RUH) was the 16th busiest with 365,316 passengers. 

With an average base fare of $68.48, Ho Chi Minh City (SGN)-Hanoi (HAN) was the cheapest route in the top 20, while Okinawa Naha (OKA)-Tokyo (HND) was the most expensive at $320.92. The average fare across the top 20 was $142.77.

While Jeju International-Seoul Gimpo International added the most passengers during July 2017, compared with June, Surabaya-Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta grew at the fastest rate in the top 20. The number of passengers was 20.4 percent higher at 423,799. 


Top 20 busiest routes in the world (July 2017):

Rank Route Passengers July 2017 Passengers June 2017 Monthly change (%) Average base fare (July 2017)
1 Jeju International - Seoul Gimpo 1284989 1190612 7.9% $86.72
2 Sapporo New Chitose - Tokyo (Haneda) 688394 637519 8.0% $107.57
3 Sydney Kingsford Smith - Melbourne 663037 598173 10.8% $154.48
4 Tokyo (Haneda) - Fukuoka 622882 577904 7.8% $247.43
5 Delhi - Mumbai 537186 526255 2.1% $76.71
6 Ho Chi Minh City - Hanoi 531338 593396 -10.5% $68.48
7 Shanghai Hongqiao - Beijing Capital 522062 528879 -1.3% $175.33
8 Hong Kong - Taipei Taiwan Taoyuan 451802 432128 4.6% $94.25
9 Okinawa Naha - Tokyo (Haneda) 443189 375296 18.1% $320.92
10 Surabaya - Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta 423799 351849 20.4% $78.12
11 Chengdu - Beijing Capital 397935 367982 8.1% $178.61
12 Tokyo (Haneda) - Osaka (Itami) 395384 357714 10.5% $77.12
13 Denpasar-Bali - Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta 376386 355219 6.0% $128.31
14 Shanghai Hongqiao - Shenzhen 371599 344625 7.8% $209.39
15 Makassar - Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta 371288 335299 10.7% $132.06
16 Jeddah - Riyadh King Khalid 365316 446810 -18.2% $112.27
17 Guangzhou - Beijing Capital 361386 357065 1.2% $119.07
18 Shenzhen - Beijing Capital 359042 363555 -1.2% $296.56
19 Shanghai Hongqiao - Guangzhou 352656 341333 3.3% $116.72
20 Delhi - Bengaluru 352087 337740 4.2% $75.31

World Routes 2017

The 23rd World Route Development Forum
Barcelona, Catalonia • 23 - 26 September 2017

Confirmed speakers include: 

Willie Walsh

Willie Walsh

CEO
IAG

Olivier

Olivier Jankovec

Director General
ACI Europe

Vincent Hodder

Vincent Hodder

Chief Commercial Officer 
Flybe

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