This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The world’s busiest international air route is between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore; among the top 20 international routes by number of flights per year, only three involve points in the US; and all but a handful are in Asia. And domestically, Asia dominates too, with the number one route by far an hourlong hop in South Korea. That’s according to data from OAG, a UK-based air travel intelligence company.
OAG’s 2019 report on the world’s busiest aviation routes looks at data from March 2018 to February 2019, and excludes carriers that operate fewer than 500 scheduled flights per year on any route.
The 20 Busiest International Routes
According to OAG, 15 of the world’s top 20 busiest routes are in Asia Pacific, with a cluster around the Asian hub airports of Singapore (SIN), Hong Kong (HKG), Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and Bangkok (BKK). Eight carriers operate the KUL-SIN route to the tune of an average of 82 flights per day. As a general rule, OAG found that an average of seven airlines operate the typical Asian route, both domestic and international, while the average is three carriers per route in the US and Europe.
The busiest international route outside of Asia, between New York LaGuardia (LGA) and Toronto (YYZ), is ranked seventh on the international top 10 list and takes first place on the North America international routes list. The US has a far more relevant presence when it comes to long-haul routes, i.e. more than 2,175 miles (3,500 km); seven of the top 10 busiest originate or terminate in the US.
The 20 Busiest Domestic Routes
If you thought the international top statistic of 30,000 flights per year was a lot, try again: 15 of the world’s busiest domestic routes operate more flights each year than the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore international route, with Japan and Indonesia each claiming two of the spots in the top 15. The 20 busiest domestic routes are located in 13 different countries in every inhabited continent except Europe, according to OAG, with Indonesia claiming three of the top 20 slots. Tied for second place are Australia, China, India, Japan and the United States, each with two of the busiest domestic routes.
Korea is home to the world’s busiest domestic route by a large margin, with seven carriers operating more than 200 daily services between Jeju Island (CJU) and Seoul Gimpo (GMP) for a grand total of nearly 80,000 flights per year. Australia has the second-busiest domestic route, with just under 150 flights per day connecting Melbourne (MEL) and Sydney (SYD).
The full report further breaks down each route by airline, on-time performance and a number of other factors. To check it out for yourself, read the 2019 OAG Report.
Tables courtesy of OAG. Featured photo by Getty Images.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points Terms Apply.
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber credits annually
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees