The most busy air routes in 2017 have been identified.
One may reckon it can be the route from Beijing to Shanghai , or that from LA to Frisco, as holding the top honours. No, they are only ranked No 10 busy and No. 7 busy, respectively.
What attracts passengers to frequent specific air routes? Is it the lack of alternative and viable options? Air travel can be fraught with possible disadvantages like long wait times, pushy airport officers and personal security risks. Some routes can be short enough to travel by road faster and with more passenger independence when air flights are delayed. Other routes fly over ocean and so have air travel as most optimal in time spent, changes in mode of transport and transfers.
The top ten busy air routes last year were non stop flights. Half of them were between Asian cities, with only one each for Africa, North America and South America. They also reflect busy traffic in commerce, populations with purchasing power and societies with a higher level of infrastructure. Half of the top ten busy routes involve capital cities.
The Cape Town to Johannesburg flight route was ranked at no.9, with 31914 flights last year. The most number of flights in Japan was from Fukuoka to Tokyo Haneda, at no.4 chalking up 42835 flights. In Australia, the sector from Melbourne to Sydney ranked at no.2 with 54519 flights. The air flight from Brisbane to Sydney ranked at no.8 - it can be a hassle to drive or train up taking over ten hours one way.
In Brazil, flights from Rio de Janerio to Sao Paulo Congonhas had 39325 flights at ranking no.5.
The increase in the number of airline providers has also upped the number of flights, especially from subsidiary and budget players. Lowering of ticket prices, the economies of scale in getting more passengers and the increasing links between airlines and cruise businesses add to growth. Decreased customer service, aircraft pick up delays and crowding in cabins have not deterred many passengers in many instances.
Train services that charge more than airlines and take longer to complete journeys have not helped their own interests. Exceptions are high speed trains that are efficiently run in nations such as France, Japan, China and Germany. Why take a flight when a HSR can deliver you or your goods as quickly as the air travel time itself?
So what was the busiest air flight corridor in 2017? Having 64991 flights, it was from the holiday isle of Jeju to Seoul in South Korea.