Kuala Lumpur-Singapore is now the busiest international route in the world, knocking former leader Hong Kong-Taipei from the top spot according to the latest figures from industry analyst OAG.
The one-hour connection saw 30,537 flights over the 12 months to February 2018, nearly 2,000 more than second-place Hong Kong-Taipei, which saw 28,887 flights.
Asia-Pacific ranked highly across the board, with the top five busiest routes all located in the region. The third-place spot was taken by Jakarta-Singapore with 23,704 flights, followed by Hong Kong-Shanghai Pudong with 21,888 and Jakarta-Kuala Lumpur with 19,849.
“Given the robust expansion of air passenger travel across Asia-Pacific and the fierce competition between carriers in the region, it is unsurprising that 14 of the world’s busiest 20 routes, including eight of the top 10 routes, are between Asian city pairs,” said Mayur Patel, regional sales director JAPAC for OAG.
“This compares to two routes within Europe, two routes in North America, plus one route between North America and Europe and one route between destinations in the Middle East.”
According to OAG, routes in Asia-Pacific have a greater number of competing airlines compared to other markets, contributing to these figures. All eight of the 10 busiest routes that are located in Asia have at least six competing airlines, compared to routes such as Dublin-London Heathrow and Chicago-Toronto that have only four.
But while Hong Kong-Taipei has been knocked from the top spot, Hong Kong remains Asia’s busiest airport hub with six of the top 20 busiest international routes, compared to Singapore’s four and Seoul Incheon’s and Osaka Kinsai’s three.
Other Asian airports to feature on at least two of the world’s top 20 busiest routes were Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Taipei, Shanghai Pudong, while Beijing Capital and Tokyo Narita appeared on one.