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Here's World's 20 Busiest International Routes
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Here's World's 20 Busiest International Routes

Almost all of the world’s 20 busiest air routes are in east Asia, with no representatives from either the Europe or the US. 

According to a survey by Routesonline, Hong Kong is far ahead of the rest of the world for high-intensity international air links. 

Eight of the top 20 routes begin or end at the city’s Chek Lap Kok airport, include the busiest: Hong Kong to Taipei, with more than 450,000 passengers in July alone.

That works out at more than 10 people a minute flying the 500 miles between the two cities, around the clock.

Cathay Pacific carries almost half the passengers on the route, with the rest divided between Hong Kong Airlines and the Taiwanese carriers Eva Air and China Airlines.

Singapore has five routes in the top 20, including the second and third most popular: to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur respectively.

Other cities that are prominent in the rankings include Osaka, Bangkok and Manila. Two cities, Tokyo and Seoul, have two airports each featuring in the top 20.

The highest-rated non-Asian route is between Moscow Domodedovo and Simferopol in Crimea (12th), with 186,000 passengers in July.

While the global community regards the Crimea as Ukrainian territory – making the air link an international route – the Foreign Office notes: “Russian forces and pro-Russian groups have established full operational control in Crimea.”

The only other non-Asian link is between Dusseldorf and Palma, on the island of Mallorca, coming 16th with around 166,000 passengers. This route is highly seasonal, with far fewer travellers in winter.

The Routesonline researchers say: “The busiest international routes were calculated by using OAG to find the top 100 routes in the world by capacity in July 2017, and then ranking them by passenger statistics on Sabre.”

London, which handles far more international airline passengers than any other city, does not appear in the survey – which considers only airport-to-airport links, rather than city-to-city connections.

If all the capital’s airports were included, the route from London to Dublin would be second only to Hong Kong-Taipei in terms of passengers flown.

The world’s busiest domestic air routes have far more passengers, with Seoul to Jeju Island way ahead of the rest.

World’s busiest international air routes, based on number of passengers carried in July

1 Hong Kong-Taipei 451,801

2 Jakarta-Singapore 322,488

3 Kuala Lumpur-Singapore 269,395

4 Seoul Incheon-Osaka Kansai 233,920

5 Hong Kong-Shanghai Pudong 225,888

6 Taipei-Osaka Kansai 200,131

7 Seoul Incheon-Hong Kong 197,935

8 Bangkok-Hong Kong 197,313

9 Taipei-Tokyo Narita 197,175

10 Kuala Lumpur-Jakarta 195,988

11 Hong Kong-Singapore 187.128

12 Moscow Domodedovo-Simferopol 186,239

13 Singapore-Bangkok 173,660

14 Hong Kong-Beijing 169,666

15 Seoul Gimpo-Tokyo Haneda 166,402

16 Palma-Dusseldorf 165,758

17 Seoul Incheon-Bangkok 163,274

18 Osaka Kansai-Hong Kong 163,154

19 Hong Kong-Manila 162,647

20 Manila-Singapore 156,522

Source: Routesonline

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