World's 10 busiest flight routes

2013-04-30 13:42
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World's best airports

The 2013 World Airport Awards recently released its list of the top 100 airports in the world and three South African airports made it into the top 30. We take a look at the top 10.

Cape Town - A survey conducted by Amadeus Air Traffic Travel Intelligence solution has revealed that the flight route between Cape Town and Johannesburg is one of the ten busiest in the world, measured by passenger volume. 

The local route saw 4.4 million passengers pass through its gates in 2012 and came in at the 10th position. It is the only African route on the list and only one of three non-Asian routes. The other two non-Asian routes are Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo in the third position and Melbourne to Sydney in the fifth place. 

Jeju-Seoul in South Korea remains the world's busiest air route. Beijing-Shanghai has risen from seventh-busiest route in the world in 2011, to fourth-busiest in 2012. Sapporo-Tokyo has overtaken Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo to second-busiest route ranking, and Okinawa-Tokyo has entered the top ten table, as ninth-busiest route in the world. 

Here is the complete list of busiest air routes in 2012:

1. Jeju island-Seoul: 10,156,000 passengers

2. Sapporo-Tokyo: 8.2 million passengers

3. Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo: 7.7 million passengers

4. Beijing-Shanghai: 7.2 million passengers

5. Melbourne-Sydney: 6.9 million passengers

6. Osaka-Tokyo: 6.7 million passengers

7. Fukuoka-Tokyo: 6.4 million passengers

8. Hong Kong-Taipei: 5.5 million passengers

9. Okinawa-Tokyo: 4.6 million passengers

10. Cape Town-Johannesburg: 4.4 million passengers

The survey revealed that 22% of all global air travel is concentrated on just 300 world ‘super routes,' each of which carry over 1 million passengers per annum.

Furthermore, 69% of all global air travel is made on major routes with 100 thousand annual passengers.

Air traffic volume grew 5% between 2011 and 2012, with Asia being the largest, fastest-growing and most competitive market for air travel. The solution shows that Asia experienced year over year growth of 9% between 2011 and 2012, followed by Latin America, at 6%. 

In terms of connecting air traffic, the analysis shows the Middle East as a strong performer, with the three key airports of Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai all showing high connecting traffic volumes. For instance, when taken as a group the three airports now serve roughly 15% of all air traffic volume that goes from Asia to Europe and from Europe to the South West Pacific. 

The analysis also shows Asia as the market with the highest airline competition, as 75% of the region's air traffic is operated by 3 or more airlines and 27% by five or more airlines.

This contrasts sharply with other regions such as the Middle East and Europe where just half of all air traffic on its routes is operated by three or more.

Interestingly, 35% of air travel in Europe and North America is made on smaller routes with fewer than 100 thousand annual passengers. This contrasts sharply with other regions such as Asia where 85% of air travel is concentrated on routes that carry over 100 thousand passengers each year. 

This concentration of Asian air travel suggests the region's growth may continue as there is an opportunity for airlines to develop secondary links beyond the heavily competitive super routes. 

Globally, the airline industry has become consistently more competitive over the past three years. The percentage of air traffic served by just one or two airlines has fallen by 2% each year from 39% in 2010 to 35% in 2012.

Take a look at this informative Global air traffic trends infographic:

Read more on:    flights  |  travel international

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