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Design for international terminal addition to Jeju Airport (Tomek Miksa / Form4)

Busiest air routes in the world revealed

Routes in Asia-Pacific dominate the busiest by passenger numbers, accounting for more than 70% of the top 100.

The world’s busiest passenger air routes have been revealed in a new study by Routes, with the Asia-Pacific region dominating the top 100.

The research has been released ahead of World Routes 2018, which takes place on September 15-18 in Guangzhou, China, bringing together around 3,000 aviation professionals.

With more than 13.4 million people travelling on a single short-haul domestic service, the 450-kilometre journey from Seoul’s Gimpo Airport to the island of Jeju again claims the title of the most in-demand route in the world.

It has an average of 180 scheduled flights per day – one every eight minutes – transporting mainly leisure travellers from the South Korean capital to the idyllic island famous for its volcanic landscape and sandy beach resorts.

A total of 13,460,305 passengers flew between Seoul and Jeju in 2017, up 9.4% from 2016. It carried as many as 4,369,364 more people than the second busiest route, Melbourne-Sydney.

The US remains the world’s largest aviation market, but the new study finds that routes in the Asia-Pacific region dominate the busiest by passenger numbers, accounting for more than 70% of the total.

Hong Kong-Taiwan is the busiest international route and features as the eighth most popular overall, with 6,719,029 pax in 2017. Hong Kong, the hub of Cathay Pacific, features in six of the top ten international routes.

The Thai domestic connection of Bangkok-Chiang Mai is the fastest-growing route in the top 100, where passenger numbers grew 36% year-on-year to almost 2.4 million.

“This research backs up forecasts that the Asia-Pacific region will be the biggest driver of passenger demand over the next 20 years,” says Steven Small, Routes’ brand director. “Such staggering aviation growth means it is the perfect time for World Routes to return to China.”

Top ten busiest scheduled air routes in the world
1 Jeju – Seoul Gimpo (CJU-GMP) 13460306 passengers
2 Melbourne – Sydney Kingsford Smith (MEL-SYD) 9090941
3 Sapporo – Tokyo Haneda (CTS-HND) 8726502
4 Fukuoka – Tokyo Haneda (FUK-HND) 7864000
5 Mumbai – Delhi (BOM-DEL) 7129943
6 Beijing Capital – Shanghai Hongqiao (PEK-SHA) 6833684
7 Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City (HAN-SGN) 6769823
8 Hong Kong – Taiwan Taoyuan (HKG-TPE) 6719030
9 Jakarta – Juanda Surabaya (CGK-SUB) 5271304
10 Tokyo Haneda – Okinawa (HND-OKA) 5269481

Top ten busiest scheduled international air routes in the world
1 Hong Kong – Taiwan Taoyuan (HKG-TPE) 6719030
2 Jakarta – Singapore Changi (CGK-SIN) 4810602
3 Hong Kong – Shanghai Pudong (HKG-PVG) 4162347
4 Kuala Lumpur – Singapore Changi (KUL-SIN) 4108824
5 Bangkok Suvarnabhumi – Hong Kong (BKK-HKG) 3438628
6 Dubai – London Heathrow (DXB-LHR) 3210121
7 Hong Kong – Seoul Incheon (HKG-ICN) 3198132
8 Hong Kong – Singapore Changi (HKG-SIN) 3147384
9 New York JFK – London Heathrow (JFK-LHR) 2972817
10 Hong Kong – Beijing Capital (HKG-PEK) 2962707

Top ten fastest-growing routes in the top 100 (2017 vs 2016)
1 Bangkok Suvarnabhumi – Chiang Mai (BKK-CNX) 36%
2 Seoul Incheon – Kansai International (ICN-KIX) 30.3%
3 Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur (CGK-KUL) 29.4%
4 Delhi – Pune (DEL-PNQ) 20.6%
5 Chengdu – Shenzhen Bao’an (CTU-SZX) 16.8%
6 Hong Kong – Shanghai Pudong (HKG-PVG) 15.5%
7 Bangkok Suvarnabhumi – Phuket (BKK-HKT) 14.9%
8 Jeddah – Riyadh King Kalid (JED-RUH) 13.9%
9 Jakarta – Kualanamu (CGK-KNO) 13.9%
10 Kolkata – Delhi (CCU-DEL) 13.4%

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