The world's busiest air route is...Tokyo Haneda-Sapporo Chitose. Indeed the top ten are all in the Asia Pacific region, which reflects its rise as the world's pre-eminent aviation market. Many of Asia's leading route pairs are in the established markets of Japan and Australia. But it is also interesting that among the airports represented as end points in the top 10 routes, ten of the airports fail to rank in the world's Top 30 airports. Though Sapporo has an enormous seat offer to Haneda, it has far less impact elsewhere.
Though the US has the most airports in the global top 30, no American airport appears in the busiest routes list until position 18; Los Angeles-San Francisco. And then US airports again disappear until route pair number 27.
But for the singular mention of Heathrow in position 32, there is not a European on the page until number 50, Madrid-Barcelona.
Finally, of the top 50, 41 are domestic and of the remaining nine, only New York-London (position 32) qualifies as a bona fide long-haul service. And the other eight are generally rather short hops that connect nearby neighbours such as Singapore-Jakarta, Singapore-Kuala Lumpur and Singapore-Bangkok.
The outstanding winner of dense, short-haul, international coverage goes to Doha-Dubai, a distance of only 237 miles. It is highly unlikely that 1 million Qataris and 1.8 million residents of Dubai are demanding that kind of schedule intensity, so those flights are a part of the growing incumbent’s (QR and EK) battle for connecting passengers.
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