At any given time, thousands of aeroplanes are jetting across the sky, delivering paying passengers to their destinations of choice. Popular routes run throughout the day and night, shepherding passengers from point A to B as the global economy expands.
But have you ever stopped to think about which routes are the most popular?
From an international standpoint, most of us think that flights from London to the US make up the bulk of the air traffic. But, if we look at passenger volume alone, the numbers tell a different story…
Numbers that Fly High
The most popular air route in the world is between the cities of Seoul-Gimpo and Jeju in South Korea. At just over 450km, the route has over 12 million passengers a year, a number so staggeringly high it eclipses second place by a full 3 million passengers per annum. The second busiest air route is between Tokyo and Sapporo in Japan followed by Tokyo to Fukuoka.
Not surprisingly, India has the fourth most popular route with around 8 million passengers flying between Delhi and Mumbai each year. Australia caps off the top 5, with just under 8 million people flying between Sydney and Melbourne. Interestingly enough, the UK, and the US do not even feature in the top 10 with China, South America, Japan and South Africa leading the numbers.
Officially, the most popular international air route is between Hong Kong in China, and Taipei in Taiwan. Second on the international list is the route between Jakarta in Indonesia and Singapore in the Republic of Singapore.
If you have a hankering to try these routes for yourself, or just love flying from country to country, you may need to play at an online casino for a little bit, as the costs of all this flying adds up. Airlines make huge profits, and tickets are not always cheap.
The Most Profitable Routes
If we put aside passenger numbers and we look at revenue, then we have a completely different list on our hands.
According to the Official Airline Guide, British Airways earns around $1.04 billion a year flying passengers from New York JKF to London Heathrow. Qantas is second on the earnings list making a whopping $855 million flying people from Melbourne to Sydney in Australia every year. American Airlines features at number 5 on the list with Los Angeles LAX to New York JFK being the most lucrative U.S air route. Next in line is United Airlines flying from San Francisco to Newark.
Another interesting statistic is the profitability of major airports. We have to discount traffic numbers and go on pure revenue here. In this category, London Heathrow wins out as it features on at least 5 of the most profitable routes even when compared to Dubai or popular destinations like Schiphol in Amsterdam, or Copenhagen in Denmark.
The Longest Flight in the World
For those who have crossed the Atlantic by air, it may seem like you were on the longest flight in the world. These days, it is not uncommon to have flights that exceed 10 hours nonstop between airports. If you really want to feel what it is like to be on the longest flight in the world, make your way from Doha to Auckland. This route flown by Qatar Airways is officially the longest non-stop flight by great circle distance. Climbing aboard the Boeing 777-200, you should be prepared to spend around 18 hours and 20 minutes in the air.
The Most Expensive Flight in the World
What about the most expensive flight?
This is a different category altogether as we have to factor in first class ticket prices. Officially, Etihad Airways has the most expensive flight between Mumbai in India and New York. The cost of a one-way ticket on this luxury trip will set you back around $38,000 and it has a stopover in Abu Dhabi.
What do you get for your money? A private cabin called “The Residence”. This three-room suite comes equipped with a private butler, a double bed with Italian linen, turndown service and a private chef. There is also a living room area with a large flat screen and a separate television in the bedroom. Now that’s what we call flying in style!