The world’s busiest air routes are being dominated by Asian cities bolstering the section’s status as the world’s fastest-growing travel market. The busiest international route in the world has changed from Hong Kong-Taipei to Kuala Lumpur-Singapore according to the newest figures from the industry analyst OAG. Budget carriers such as Scoot, Jetstar, Air Asia and Malindo Air as well as the two countries’ flagship carriers, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines operate on this route.84 flights a day fly this route belonging to seven airlines.
Hong Kong-Taipei has lost the top slot and is in second place and third place is occupied by Singapore-Jakarta., followed by Hong Kong-Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur-Jakarta.
Based on the number of flights between two cities in the 12 months to the end of February this year, the industry consultancy OAG submitted its report; the Singapore-KL connection topped with 30,537 flights by being the fullest international routes, compared to the 27,304 flights for Singapore-Jakarta and 28,887 flights for Hong Kong-Taipei.
Changi Airport was the busiest for the Singapore-KL sector based on the number of flights operated while more people flew between Singapore and Jakarta during the similar time frame. In fact, the total passenger traffic was 4.6 million on this route compared to the Singapore-KL route.
OAG’s regional sales director for Japan and the Asia-Pacific, Mr. Mayur Patel, pointed out that 14 of the world’s 20 busiest routes, including eight of the top 10, are between Asian cities. When it came to airports, Hong Kong was still the busiest Asian airport included in six of the top 20 routes with Changi Airport in four
It has been noted that the expansion of low-cost carriers in Asia has considerably enhanced the number of air services between Asian cities, including Singapore-Kuala Lumpur and Singapore-Jakarta.
With a fleet of only 37 in 2012, low-cost carriers in Singapore now have almost doubled their fleet to 60 aircraft – 44 from the Airbus 320 family and 16 Boeing 787s noted Mr. Brendan Sobie belonging to the Centre for Aviation. A third of the total passenger traffic at Changi Airport are from low-cost carriers. 18 such airlines are offering short-and long-haul flights to and from Singapore, said Mr. Sobie.
The top five busiest routes ranked on the top are all located in the Asia-Pacific region. Mr.Mayur Patel further said “Given the robust expansion of air passenger travel across Asia-Pacific and the fierce competition between carriers in the region, it is not surprising that 14 of the world’s busiest twenty routes, including 8 of the top 10, are amid Asian city pairs. This compares to two routes within Europe, two routes in North America, plus one route between North America and Europe and one route between destinations in the Middle East.”
Compared to other routes, there is much more competition in Asia between six airlines in comparison with four on the Dublin-London Heathrow and Chicago-Toronto route.
Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Taipei, Shanghai Pudong appear on one of the 20 busiest routes while other Asian airports were like Beijing Capital and Tokyo Narita appear on another. The busiest route in the world is just an hour long haul between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
According to OAG, the routes within East Asia tops the list of busiest air routes in the world, with 14 city pairs in the top 20. Between March and February, the approximately two-hour flight between Kuwait and Dubai came in ninth, with 15,332 flights.
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