UTC 08:11

The 2019 list of busiest international routes in the world


With 30,187 flights in the course of a year, the route between Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) and Changi Airport, Singapore (SIN), has the highest frequency of services.


15 of the top 20 busiest international routes are all in Asia Pacific, and on average, seven carriers operate on these routes. Compared to the rest of the world, Asia appears to be leading the pack.


With 15,587 flights over 12 months, the service between New York (JFK) and San Francisco (SFO) topped the long-haul route list, followed closely by New York (JFK) to London Heathrow (LHR) with 14,195 operating flights.


Three of the busiest medium-haul routes are domestic routes in China, starting or ending in Beijing. Whereas the busiest short-haul route is between Jeju International Airport (CJU) and Gimpo International Airport (GMP), which is also the busiest domestic route in the world, with almost an incredible 80,000 annual flights.


Here’s the full list of the busiest international routes.

  1. Kuala Lumpur – Singapore: 30,187 flights
  2. Hong Kong – Taipei: 28,447 flights
  3. Jakarta – Singapore: 27,046 flights
  4. Hong Kong – Shanghai: 20,678 flights
  5. Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur: 19,741 flights
  6. Seoul Incheon – Osaka: 19,711 flights
  7. New York LaGuardia – Toronto: 17,038 flights
  8. Hong Kong – Seoul Incheon: 15,770 flights
  9. Bangkok – Singapore: 14,698 flights
  10. Dubai – Kuwait: 14,581 flights
  11. Bangkok – Hong Kong: 14,556 flights
  12. Hong Kong – Beijing: 14,537 flights
  13. New York JFK – London Heathrow: 14,195 flights
  14. Tokyo Narita – Taipei: 13,902 flights
  15. Dublin – London Heathrow: 13,855 flights
  16. Osaka – Shanghai: 13,708 flights
  17. Hong Kong – Singapore: 13,654 flights
  18. Chicago O’Hare – Toronto: 13,503 flights
  19. Seoul Incheon – Tokyo Narita: 13,517 flights
  20. Osaka – Taipei: 13,325 flights



With almost 3m passengers a year, the 3,400-mile (5,500km) trip between Heathrow and New York JFK has taken the crown as Europe’s busiest international scheduled service, research by Routesonline has found.

A total of 2,919,864 passengers boarded flights between the two destinations in 2018, according to the latest data from Sabre Market Intelligence, a rise of 1.8% compared with the previous 12 months.

Four airlines served the market last year, led by British Airways which the figures show had a 40.7% share of available seats on offer. Virgin Atlantic had 28.5%, American Airlines 20.6% and Delta Air Lines 10.2%.

The ascent of the LHR – JFK route followed a 16.6% year-on-year drop in the number of passengers flying between Heathrow and Dubai International.

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