To the surprise of many, the world's busiest air routes aren't between North America and Europe, nor are they familiar short-hauls such as the shuttle between New York and Washington. Turns out, they're all on the other side of the world.
The busiest of all, according to the International Air Transport Association, is a route between Seoul, Korea and the Korean vacation and honeymoon island of Jeju, which saw 6,561,314 passengers this year.
Second place went to a Japanese route, Sapporo to Tokyo (6, 209,366). Here's the list:
- Jeju International - Seoul Gimpo International - one-way capacity (2016) - 6,561,314
- Sapporo New Chitose - Tokyo Haneda - 6,209,366
- Fukuoka - Tokyo Haneda - 5,961,277
- Melbourne - Sydney Kingsford Smith - 5,067,167
- Taipei Taiwan Taoyuan International - Hong Kong International - 4,146,547
- Delhi - Mumbai - 4,143,639
- Ho Chi Minh City - Hanoi - 4,141,322
- Beijing Capital International - Shanghai Hongqiao International - 3,962,081
- Surabaya - Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta - 3,849,866
- Tokyo Haneda - Okinawa Naha - 3,784,546
And for those who are still wondering...the busiest trans-Atlantic routes are JFK to Heathrow and LAX to Heathrow, followed by JFK-Paris and Chicago-Heathrow. Not everyone hates Heathrow, it seems.
Photo: Halla Mountain, Jeju (Feth/Wikimedia)