According to a new report, based on a study released in advance of the World Routes event held last month in China, the busiest air route in the world operates to the tiny, beach resort island of Jeju off the South Korean peninsula. The most in-demand air route originates in Gimpo Airport, based in Seoul, and ferries almost 13.5 million passengers per year across the 450km route at an average of one flight every 8 minutes. This is the second consecutive year that the route has been named the busiest.
Other routes were examined within the study and coming in second is the Melbourne-Sydney route, which carried an incredible 4,370,000 fewer passengers than Seoul-Jeju island.
The resort island is famous for its sandy beaches and Hallasan Mountain, a now-dormant volcano that has created a stunning volcanic landscape that includes a 7km long cave within the Geomunoreum lava tube system. In the main, the flight passengers are holidaying Koreans.
Strength in numbers for Asia-Pacific
Interestingly, although the US aviation market is the largest, the Asia-Pacific region holds all the cards in terms of air routes services, dominating the top 100 busiest routes with more than 70% of the total numbers.
Also in the Asia-Pacific region, we see strength in growth for Hong Kong-Taiwan Toayuan, which ranks 8th busiest with almost 7 million passengers flying the route in 2017. Hong Kong airport is the hub for Cathay Pacific Airlines and holds six of the top ten international routes according to the study.
The top five schedule international routes experiencing the biggest passenger numbers are all located in Asia-Pacific:
- Hong Kongâ€“Taiwan Taoyuan (HKG-TPE) â€“ 6.7 million
- Jakartaâ€“Singapore Changi (CGK-SIN) â€“ 4.8 million
- Hong Kongâ€“Shanghai Pudong (HKG-PVG) â€“ 4.16 million
- Kuala Lumpurâ€“Singapore Changi (KUL-SIN) â€“ 4.1 million
- Bangkok Suvarnabhumiâ€“Hong Kong (BKK-HKG) â€“ 3.4 million
The study revealed that the fastest-growing air route in the top 100 examined is also located in Asia-Pacific. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Chang Mai experienced growth of 6%, to just under 2.4 million passengers.
Many industry professionals agree that the latest study reveals what is now accepted opinion that the Asia-Pacific region is becoming the driving force for passenger demand and could become the biggest driver over the next couple of decades.