Six of the ten busiest international routes in December 2021 operated to or from Dubai, including Dubai-Riyadh which recorded 284,552 seats.

According to data compiled by flight information, intelligence and analytics OAG, the UAE hub also took third spot with its flights to London Heathrow (253,567 seats), with routes to/from Jeddah, Bahrain, Kuwait and Karachi also making the top ten.

London Heathrow also featured in fourth place with its route to New York JFK (222,890 seats) – the only other US destination to make the top ten was Orlando, with its route to Puerto Rico’s capital San Juan (177,962 seats).

Recent OAG data also showed that Dubai International retained its position as the busiest international airport in the world in December, with over one million more seats than London Heathrow. Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris CDG and Istanbul airport rounded out the top five.

However international services were dwarfed by the busiest domestic routes last month, with Jeju International-Seoul Gimpo recording 1,426,946 seats, followed by Sapporo New Chitose-Tokyo Haneda (903,025 seats), Fukuoka-Tokyo Haneda (851,478 seats) and Beijing-Shanghai Hongqiao (731,659 seats).

Melbourne-Sydney also returned to the top ten as travel restrictions began to ease in Australia, with a total of 639,152 seats. Eight of the top ten busiest domestic airline routes in December operated within Asia.