The top 10 airline routes in the world by how much capacity is scheduled are all generally in the Asia Pacific region. That includes the Mideast (Saudi Arabia’s domestic Riyadh – Jeddah) and it includes Australia (Sydney – Melbourne).
There’s not a single route in the top 10 in the U.S., Canada, or anywhere in Europe. A decade ago South America featured once – Sao Paulo to Rio – but that’s no longer in the top 10.
Sydney Kingsford Smith Terminal 1 Departures
OAG crunched the data and found the top 10 routes by seats scheduled in 2019. Like a decade ago the airport appearing most often on this list is Tokyo Haneda. Many of the routes traded places over the past decade but most of the city pairs remained the same. Perhaps the most surprising addition is Ho Chi Minh City – Hanoi, which jumped 465 places in 10 years.
Here are the top 10 city pairs by airline seats scheduled between them in 2019:
|Ho Chi Minh City||Hanoi||10,245,598|
|Beijing Capital||Shanghai Hongqiao||8,123,735|
Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International Airport
Hong Kong – Taipei was fourth a decade ago with nearly the exact same number of scheduled seats. They’ve seen a reduction in capacity following recent protests there.
The prominence in Asia is certainly a function of limited travel alternatives (in Europe there are trains between the major cities) as well as economic growth. Japan has held its prominent place without significant growth, China’s growth has been focused on myriad cities rather than just a couple of routes so there’s no new Chinese entrants. India’s aviation sector has lagged. It’s interesting that Bangkok is nowhere on this list (and wasn’t on it a decade ago, either).