The busiest passenger air routes on earth have been revealed in a new study published by Routes.
With more than 13.4 million people travelling on the short-haul domestic service, the 450-kilometre journey from Seoul’s Gimpo Airport to the island of Jeju off the coast of the Korean Peninsula has once again claimed the title as the most in-demand air route in the world.
The route has an average of 180 scheduled flights per day - that’s one every eight minutes - transporting mainly leisure travellers from South Korea’s dense capital city to the island, famed for its white sandy beach resorts and volcanic landscape.
A total of 13,460,305 passengers flew between Seoul and Jeju in 2017, an increase of 9.4 per cent on the previous 12 months when the route was also ranked as the busiest in the world.
It carried a staggering 4,369,364 more people than the second busiest, Melbourne-Sydney Kingsford Smith.
Although the United States remains the world’s largest aviation market, the analysis by Routes found that air services in the Asia-Pacific region dominate the top 100 busiest routes by passenger numbers, accounting for more than 70 per cent of the total.
Hong Kong-Taiwan Taoyuan is the busiest international route and features as the eighth most popular overall, with 6,719,029 passengers flying the 802 kilometres in 2017.
Hong Kong, the home hub for Cathay Pacific, features in six of the top ten international routes.
The research has been released as 3,000 aviation professionals prepare to gather at World Routes 2018, taking place from September 15th-18th in Guangzhou, China.
Steven Small, brand director of Routes, said: “This research backs up forecasts that the Asia-Pacific region will be the biggest driver of passenger demand over the next 20 years.
“Such staggering aviation growth means it is the perfect time for World Routes to return to China.
“The event will bring together senior decision makers from across the world to plan new air services and discuss increasing the frequency and capacity of the existing routes that are popular with passengers.
“The negotiations in taking place in Guangzhou could pave the way to the busiest routes of the future.”
The busiest routes in the world were calculated by using OAG Schedules Analyser to find the top 500 routes by overall seat capacity in 2017.
The routes were then ranked by passenger numbers using data provided by Sabre Market Intelligence.