Airlines' busiest routes

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  • transtraxman

    To reply to canucklad about London – Scotland air traffic………..
    … published details about that traffic and the respective operators which makes for interesting reading. You are correct that London-Edingurgh is the busiest route at about 3.2 million pax per year, while London-Glasgow is just over 2 million pax per year.

    but the information covers other UK domestic routes as well for 2015.


    I don’t know if it’s their busiest, but those airlines that fly to JNB seem to have very good load factors.

    JNB to CPT seems pretty busy – is it 6 airlines now on the route? Including some wide body aircraft at peak times.


    Cheers for the link transtraxman..
    Add in the rail traffic and that’s a shell of a lot of people on the move.


    FBack to the flights…..
    Checking the departure boards at HKG , I recall being amazed and surprised at how many flights were LHR bound. At the time if memory served me right…….

    1 QF flight
    1 NZ flight
    2 BA flights
    2 CX flights

    And all jumbo’s, at that wasn’t including the flights that weren’t showing on the boards

    As Alex says, that information is woefully out of date! There are now 2 BA flights, 5 CX flights (plus four flights a week to LGW) and 1 VS flight. QF, NZ and (sadly) OA all defunct on that route.

    However, as Alex again rightly says, the connecting options are vast. Within the last year the memsahib and I have connected through (if memory services) Frankfurt, CDG, Helsinki, Amsterdam, KL, BKK… I may even have missed a couple!

    MH are offering ridiculously cheap fares ex HKG – having flown a number of flexible refundable business class flights with them costing HK$24,xxx to HK$26,xxx return business class to London over the last couple of years, I just bagged a return business class ticket for HK$15,679 (at the time of writing, 1,645 pounds). Admittedly a LONG layover on the way to London and a slightly dodgy connection on the way back (I have missed the connection twice, my luggage has always missed it) so not for the faint-hearted or time-critical, but astonishing value. I am also booking tickets (rather like ex-EUR tickets for those UK-based) from Manila or Bangkok and making tremendous savings.

    In terms of traffic from HKG to London I would guess that if you add in the Finnair, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and other connecting services, and factor in the number of passengers rather than the number of flights, it would be one of the busiest non-TATL routes.


    Totally right Ian,
    Knew the information was woefully out of date, it was on one of my first visits to the 7’s
    And since my own LHR –HKG flight I’ve routed via AMS, CDG, IST, DOH, DXB and on the radar in the future will be AUH, Helsinki and CX through MAN.
    Again all price dependant, and although I’m not keen on the 2x 7.5 hour flights I was impressed with QR and Doha is so much more civilized than Dubai……Must be the bear!!

    And that’s not forgetting some incredible deals via PEK with China Southern that occasionally pop into my mailbox. .
    And thanks for bringing the MH option to my attention. A stopover in KL might be a nice diversion.

    And back on topic, I’d imagine the environmental lobbies around the world must be pulling their hair out in sheer frustration, at how ineffectual rail travel has proven to be as a viable replacement to air.

    I’ve already mentioned EDI –LHR, and whilst I await my meeting to start I’ve researched the followed…….
    Seoul – Jeju….The busiest (although not sure if there is a rail link?)
    Tokyo to ……Osaka and other Honshu cities
    Domestic NE Seaboard flights
    Intra- European flights

    If I was an environmentalist I’d definitely be pointing a finger at the railways and asking why their product hasn’t busted the airlines monopoly, in the same manner that the airlines busted the great ocean liners!!


    canucklad, ‘the railways’ have actually done extremely well, although naturally it depends on the time individual routes take as to whether trains are a viable alternative to air.

    Look at London – Paris, Madrid – Barcelona, numerous routes in mainland China and Japan, many European routes and not to mention Seoul to Busan.

    If I was Boeing or Airbus I’d be pulling my hair out thinking as to why air travel isn’t more attractive for many of these routes, and how its failure leads to lower orders for new aircraft, not that I’m forgetting the good order books generally for international routes’ aircraft.

    By the way, for a further alternative, you can route LHR – MNL – HKG on CX now that PR is introducing a daily LHR – MNL frequency. You could even go LHR – MNL – CEB – HKG if you wanted to visit an attractive beach or two!


    Ian – It is a shame MH aren’t offering any ‘deals’ out of London to HKG. I suspect they would have a few takers. CA & TK at the same price point you can get with MH, but on a few dates next month I’m looking at MH are over £3k ex LHR!


    Have to disagree with you on the Rail Point Canucklad.

    Look at Paris to Lyon – barely any flights now since the TGV. I’d hazard a guess that MAN-LHR is now lower than before – with Virgin Trains running a train every 20 minutes.

    Like Frequent PR says many routes are now drastically better by train and decimated the air competition. The only reason flights still exist on many of these routes is to work as feed to long haul flights. But point to point mostly gone.

    Generally anything 3 hours or less and planes can give up – hence why HS Rail is so important (even Morocco are sorting out Tangiers to Casablanca with a TGV service shortly). Even 4 hours is falling in Rail Spectrum these days – hence Eurostar to Amsterdam. The importance of HS in UK can’t be understated – for those in the North to London and more importantly to Birmingham which will see massive improvements in journey times to the North from current service.

    The Australians are looking at Sydney – Canberra – Melbourne (which is crying out for HS Rail) – hopefully the decision will be made to proceed on this shortly (if it hasn’t already been).

    From an environmental perspective – I’d be pulling my hair out at the crazy system whereby 10,000s of people every day are filling up planes in Europe for no reason other than to go indirect and save money on tickets – let alone people going LHR-AMS-LHR-HKG for example. Heathrow could probably offer more slots if we didn’t have unnecessary legs being flown. (but that isn’t going to change – it is an open market after all).


    Above where I said ‘on CX’, I meant ‘on PR’. Apologies.


    A very good example of the impact of HSR on air travel is Taiwan where the north – south HSR virtually killed all but connecting domestic flights within a couple of months of start-up.


    @ Tim @Tom @Frequent
    I suppose it’s dependant on a few factors, starting with the overall experience provided by the railroad in question. In other words a balance of comfort, convenience and cost.

    And where that has happened, Taiwan, Lyon and I’m assuming Amtrak in the North East, they’ve severely impacted the competing airlines.

    My point is, not everywhere. There is still point to point traffic in Japan, and closer to home Easyjet, Ryanair , FlyBe and of course BA fill the skies above my village as they head south to England.

    I’m afraid I’m going to disagree with you about HS2 .
    As a frequent user of the railways I’d rather that money was spent on upgrading the existing network and somehow or another reduce prices to encourage people from flying above my local.
    But then, I’m a hypocrite. In recent months I’ve also watched my village from up on high and through the clouds as I’ve opted to let FlyBe take the strain !!


    It is an interesting thought that slot constraints could be avoided if fewer people took indirect flights or ex-EU (or in my case, ex-anywhere-else-in-Asia) flights.

    But how to avoid that? Indirect routes are less convenient because they take longer and (usually) involve changing planes. Hence, tend to be cheaper. But as pointed out above, it can’t make much sense for CX to charge me less to fly MNL-HKG-LHR-HKG-MNL than HKG-LHR-HKG – oh and I did that recently, btw. Most of it, anyway 😉


    Hello folks

    A couple of surprises for me:

    Toulouse-Orly is the busiest route within the EU.

    Rio-SP has 284 daily flights. Wow!

    Hi canucklad, Jeju is an island way off the south coast of South Korea so no rail link. I believe it is very popular with honeymooners, and am also impressed it is the world’s busiest route.

    No plans to visit!

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