Why "Many Busiest Domestic Routes in the World" Are in Asia-Pacific? Here Are The Reason
Recent rankings of the Top 10 Busiest Domestic Routes in the World based on the number of scheduled seats between October 2021 and September 2022 were revealed by aviation industry experts OAG. Asia-Pacific is home to nine of the top ten busiest domestic routes. With the exception of the Saudi Arabian route Jeddah-Riyadh (JED-RUH), nine of these routes are in the Asia-Pacific area.
The impact of COVID-19
The Top 10 Busiest Domestic Routes in 2019 featured city pairs in Brazil (Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) and the United States (Los Angeles - San Francisco). They dropped off the list a year later and were replaced by flights to the Asia-Pacific region.
Since then, the same few routes have dominated the list: even though some rankings have changed, Jeju International - Seoul Gimpo in South Korea continues to stay at the top of the list.
Caused by Regional Holidays
Some of the routes on the list all pass via some of the most popular tourist destinations in the globe. These routes connect tourist locations and major cities as well as being well-liked for domestic tourism, making connecting flights for visitors from abroad very popular.
- Jeju International – Seoul Gimpo International Airport (CJU-GMP)
For many years, this route was the busiest domestic route in the entire world. Throughout the pandemic, CJU-GMP held the top spot with an average of 224 flights each day. Jeju, sometimes known as the "Hawaii of South Korea," is a well-liked tourist destination for both domestic and foreign visitors.
The majority of foreign visitors arrive in Jeju via Seoul Gimpo International Airport, which is situated in Seoul, the country's capital. This route is flown by Korean Air, Asiana, Jin Air, Jeju Air, and Asiana.
- Sapporo New Chitose Airport – Tokyo International (Haneda) (CTS-HND)
With three of the busiest domestic routes in the world, Japan dominates this ranking. Hokkaido, Japan's largest and capital city, Sapporo is renowned for its beer, skiing, and picturesque mountains. An average of 15 million tourists visit the city each year, many of them fly in via Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, on carriers like Spring Japan, Jetstar Japan, ANA, and Japan Airlines.
- Fukuoka – Tokyo International (Haneda) (FUK-HND)
Fukuoka, another Japanese route on the list, is a significant commercial hub in addition to being a well-liked tourism destination. The second-largest port city in Japan, it attracts both leisure and corporate visitors. With the addition of StarFlyer, a local airline that flies to seven domestic destinations and one foreign destination, the same airlines that fly on CTS-HND also fly on this route (Taipei, Taiwan).
- Tokyo International (Haneda) – Okinawa Naha Airport (HND-OKA)
Holiday destination Okinawa is well known for its contrast to snowy Sapporo. Okinawa, a group of more than 160 islands located between Taiwan and the Japanese mainland, draws tourists with its tropical climate, beaches, and coral reefs. Flights on this route are run by Jetstar Japan, Peach Aviation, Japan Airlines, ANA, Skymark Airlines, and local carrier Solaseed Air.
- Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Airport – Denpasar Bali (CGK-DPS)
It's not surprising that one of Indonesia's routes reached the list given that the country's domestic market is expected to be the fourth largest in the world by 2030. Although Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, practically all of its tourists are domestic Indonesian citizens.
The numerous airlines operating in the nation, including its national carrier Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Indonesia AirAsia, Batik Air, and Citilink Indonesia, fly this route.
On The Global Scene
The Asia-Pacific region's domestic air travel appears to be holding up well, but the international air travel recovery may not be as hopeful. According to a prediction by Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific, passenger traffic will only increase by roughly 55% from pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.
Contrast this with other locations where recovery is anticipated to be significantly higher, between 70% and 80%. This year, China's stringent border controls and Japan's cautious attitude to easing limitations on foreign travel may undermine Asia-dominance Pacific's as the world's largest air passenger market.
Stefano Baronci, Director General of Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific stated:
“The traffic in the region will not be able to fully recover to 2019 levels unless all countries keep their borders open to facilitate freedom of movement. China and Japan – one of the largest contributors to the region's overall traffic – have been slow in lifting travel and COVID restrictions.”
Source: OAG Report, SimpleFlying.com