These Are the Busiest Air Routes That Airlines Fly Around the World

Have you ever wondered what the busiest air route is in the world? Whether you only ever fly domestically or prefer to travel internationally as much as you can, you’ve probably gotten the sense that some airports are busier than others. But which airports have the world’s most popular air routes running through them? And which airlines operate those routes? Fortunately, as Forbes reports, OAG crunched all the numbers and compiled a fascinating list of the busiest routes and the carriers that fly them.

Below, check out the busiest air routes that airlines fly around the world.

20. Chicago to Toronto

Toronto Skyline

Thousands of planes make the jump across the Great Lakes. | Elijah-Lovkof/iStock/Getty Images

  • ORD to YYZ
  • 13,100 flights in a year = 35 flights per day

Starting us off, in 20th place among the busiest air routes in the world, is the route between Chicago and Toronto. OAG reports that three carriers offer flights on this route: Air Canada, United Airlines, and American Airlines. (All are airlines that many Americans have flown, and plenty of Americans are familiar with Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, too.) From March 2017 through February 2018, the time period for which OAG looked at the data, airlines flew more than 13,000 flights on this route, carrying more than a million passengers.

Next: A popular European route comes next on the list. 

19. Amsterdam to London Heathrow

London, Traffic on the Westminster bridge

Just two airlines make all these flights. | johnkellerman/iStock/Getty Images

  • AMS to LHR
  • 13,170 flights in a year = 36 flights per day

Another two airports that many Americans have seen? Amsterdam and London Heathrow, the two endpoints on the 19th busiest air route in the world. OAG reports that only two airlines fly this route: KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines and British Airways. Between the two of them, they operated more than 13,000 flights between Amsterdam and London from March 2017 through February 2018. And in that time, they carried 1.8 million passengers on this route.

Next: If you’ve ever traveled to Asia, it’s likely that you’ve seen at least one of these airports. 

18. Seoul Incheon to Tokyo Narita

Tokyo skyline at sunset

Many carriers fly between Seoul and Tokyo. | f11photo/iStock/Getty Images

  • ICN to NRT
  • 13,517 flights in a year = 37 flights per day

Another incredibly busy air route in Asia, according to OAG, goes between Seoul and Tokyo. You can choose among nine different airlines if you want to fly this route. Asiana Airlines, Korean Air, Jeju Airlines, Eastar Jet, Jin Air, T’way Air, Japan Airlines, United Airlines, and Air Seoul operated more than 13,000 flights between Seoul and Tokyo from March 2017 through February 2018. During that time, they transported 2.2 million passengers on this route.

Next: This route got even more flights than Seoul to Tokyo, but saw fewer passengers. 

17. Osaka to Shanghai Pudong

Shanghai pudong sunrise

There’s no shortage of flights between Osaka and Shanghai. | iStock.com/dk1234

  • KIX to PVG
  • 13,576 flights in a year = 37 flights per day

The route between Osaka and Shanghai Pudong lands in 17th place among the busiest air routes in the world. OAG counted nine airlines operating flights on this route: China Eastern Airlines, Air China, Juneyao Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Spring Airlines, Japan Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Peach Aviation, and Shanghai Airlines. From March 2017 through February 2018, the airlines operated more than 13,000 flights on the route and transported 1.7 million passengers between the two cities.

Next: This popular route goes right through New York. 

16. New York John F. Kennedy to London Heathrow

New York JFK airport

There are plenty of daily flights between New York and London. | tupungato/iStock/Getty Images

  • JFK to LHR
  • 13,888 flights in a year = 38 flights per day

The route between New York’s John F. Kennedy and London’s Heathrow comes next on OAG’s list of the busiest air routes you can fly around the world. There are four carriers that fly this route: British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines — all carriers with which many Americans have grown familiar. From March 2017 to February 2018, those four carriers operated almost 14,000 flights between the two airports, carrying 3 million passengers along the route.

Next: This route operates between Japan and Taiwan. 

15. Osaka to Taipei

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No fewer than 10 airlines fly this route. | Takosan/iStock/Getty Images

  • KIX to TPE
  • 14,186 flights in a year = 38 flights per day

Next on the list of the busiest air routes? The route involving Osaka in Japan and Taipei in Taiwan. OAG reports that an eye-popping total of 10 airlines operates flights along this route. China Airlines, EVA Airways, Peach Aviation, Tigerair Taiwan, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Jetstar Asia, Philippine Airlines, Vanilla Air, and Jetstar Japan together flew 14,000 flights between the two cities from March 2017 to February 2018. Those flights transported 2.4 million passengers.

Next: If you’ve traveled to Europe, you may have seen one of these airports. 

14. Dublin to London Heathrow

Dublin, Ireland

From Dublin to London, 39 times a day. | Lukas Bischoff/Getty Images

  • DUB to LHR
  • 14,390 flights in a year = 39 flights per day

Many people who have traveled to Europe have found themselves at Dublin or at Heathrow — or possibly both. OAG reports that just two carriers operate along the 14th busiest air route in the world: Aer Lingus and British Airways. Between the two of them, they operated more than 14,000 flights between Dublin and Heathrow from March 2017 to February 2018, transporting a total of 1.8 million passengers between the two cities.

Next: This route operates in a very different part of the world. 

13. Hong Kong to Beijing

Beijing

39 flights a day shuttle between Beijing and Hong Kong.| Lo Ka Fai/China Photos/Getty Images

  • HKG to PEK
  • 14,543 flights in a year = 39 flights per day

It’s hardly a surprise that the route between Hong Kong and Beijing makes the list of the busiest air routes. In fact, you might find it surprising that it doesn’t land closer to the top of the list. OAG notes that five carriers operate along this route: Cathay Dragon, Air China, Hong Kong Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, and China Southern Airlines. Together, the five operated more than 14,500 flights between the two cities from March 2017 to February 2018. During the same time period, they transported 2.8 million passengers between the two cities.

Next: This busy air route also involves Hong Kong. 

12. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Hong Kong

There’s a lot of daily traffic between Hong Kong and Bangkok. | photonewman/Shutterstock

  • BKK to HKG
  • 14,832 flights in a year = 40 flights per day

The route between Bangkok and Hong Kong is the twelfth busiest in the world. OAG reports that seven airlines operate flights between these two cities. Between March 2017 and February 2018, those airlines — Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways International, Hong Kong Airlines, Emirates, Royal Jordanian, Sri Lankan Airlines, and Orient Thai Airlines — operated almost 15,000 flights between the two airports. On those flights, the carriers transported 3.7 million passengers.

Next: This busy air route also operates out of Bangkok. 

11. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Singapore

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 9V-SKB

Singapore Airlines and four other carriers ferry between Bangkok and Singapore every day. | RyanFletcher/Getty Images

  • BKK to SIN
  • 14,859 flights in a year = 40 flights per day

Next on the list, in 11th place among the busiest air routes in the world? Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Singapore, according to OAG. A total of five airlines operate flights between these two airports: Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International, Scoot, Jetstar Asia, and Cathay Pacific Airways. Between March 2017 and February 2018, the five of them operated almost 15,000 flights along the route and transported a total of 2.8 million passengers between the two hubs.

Next: This Asian route makes the top 10 busiest air routes in the world. 

10. Hong Kong to Singapore

Singapore Panoramic Cityscape

Singapore and Hong Kong are easy to travel between. | AhLamb/iStock/Getty Images

  • HKG to SIN
  • 15,029 flights in a year = 41 flights per day

The 10th busiest air route in the world, according to OAG, operates between Hong Kong and Singapore. Four different airlines operate flights on this route: Cathay Pacific Airways, Singapore Airlines, Scoot, and Jetstar Asia. Between March 2017 and February 2018, those four airlines operated more than 15,000 flights on the route, carrying 3.2 million passengers between Hong Kong and Singapore.

Next: Millions of people fly between these middle eastern hubs each year. 

9. Dubai to Kuwait

Dubai International Airport, UAE

Dubai International Airport takes passengers to and from Kuwait 42 times a day. | aksphoto/iStock/Getty Images

  • DXB to KWI
  • 15,332 flights in a year = 42 flights per day

Next up on the list of the busiest air routes? Dubai to Kuwait, according to OAG. Four airlines fly this route: Emirates, Flydubai, Kuwait Airways, and Jazeera Airways. Between March 2017 and February 2018, those four carriers flew more than 15,000 flights between Dubai and Kuwait. And they transported 2.7 million passengers between the two airports — on par with the number of passengers carried even on routes that saw a significantly larger number of flights.

Next: You may have flown on this North American route before. 

8. New York LaGuardia to Toronto

United Airilnes aircraft at LaGuardia Airport,

LaGuardia Airport isn’t popular, but it offers plenty of service to Toronto. | iStock.com/robertcicchetti

  • LGA to YYZ
  • 16,956 flights in a year = 46 flights per day

New York’s LaGuardia to Toronto comes next on the list of the busiest air routes in the world, in eighth place. OAG reports that three airlines fly this route: Air Canada, Westjet, and American Airlines. Between March 2017 and February 2018, those three carriers flew almost 17,000 flights between the two North American hubs. On those flights, they transported a total of 1.6 million passengers between New York and Toronto.

Next: This route connects two major Asian cities. 

7. Hong Kong to Seoul Incheon

Seoul, South Korea, skyline

There’s a lot of air traffic between Hong Kong and Seoul. | Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

  • HKG to ICN
  • 17,075 flights in a year = 46 flights per day

Next on the list comes the route between Hong Kong and Seoul Incheon, the largest airport in South Korea. OAG reports that an eye-popping 11 airlines operate flights between these two hubs. That includes Cathay Pacific Airways, Korean Air, H K Express, Asiana Airlines, Jeju Airlines, Thai Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, Jin Air, Eastar Jet, Air India, and Air Seoul. From March 2017 to February 2018, those 11 airlines operated more than 17,000 flights along this route, carrying 3.3 million passengers between the two airports.

Next: This route also goes through Seoul. 

6. Seoul Incheon to Osaka

An aerial view of central Osaka, possibly from a flight to Seoul. | Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

  • ICN to KIX
  • 17,488 flights in a year = 47 flights per day

The route between Seoul in South Korea and Osaka in Japan comes in sixth among the busiest air routes in the world. OAG reports that eight carriers fly this route. Asiana Airlines, Korean Air, Jin Air, Jeju Airlines, Peach Aviation, Eastar Jet, T’way Air, and Air Seoul flew more than 17,000 flights on this route between March 2017 and February 2018. During the same period, the airlines transported 2.8 million passengers between the two airports.

Next: This route connects Indonesia and Malaysia. 

5. Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur

Jakarta cityscape in Indonesia capital city

| AsianDream/Getty Images

  • CGK to KUL
  • 19,849 flights in a year = 54 flights per day

Jakarta to Kuala Lumpur makes the top five on the list of the busiest air routes in the world, according to OAG. A whopping nine airlines fly this route: Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Lion Air, Indonesia AirAsia, Malindo Airways, Garuda Indonesia, KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines, Batik Air, and Indonesia AirAsia X. Between March 2017 and February 2018, those airlines made almost 20,000 flights between the two airports, transporting 2.7 million passengers between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

Next: This is one of the most popular routes across China. 

4. Hong Kong to Shanghai Pudong

cathay pacific jet

Planes fly between Hong Kong and Shanghai 59 times a day. | Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

  • HKG to PVG
  • 21,888 flights in a year = 59 flights per day

Next on the list? OAG reports that Hong Kong to Shanghai Pudong is the fourth busiest air route in the world. Seven airlines fly this route regularly: Cathay Dragon, China Eastern Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Spring Airlines, Juneyao Airlines, and Shanghai Airlines. Between March 2017 and February 2018, those seven airlines made more than 21,000 flights between the two airports and transported 3.8 million passengers along this route.

Next: This is the third busiest air route you can fly around the world. 

3. Jakarta to Singapore

Millions of passengers go between Jakarta and Singapore annually. | Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images

  • CGK to SIN
  • 27,304 flights in a year = 74 flights per day

According to OAG, Jakarta to Singapore is the third busiest air route in the world. Seven airlines fly on this route: Singapore Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Jetstar Asia, Indonesia AirAsia, Scoot, and Batik Air. From March 2017 to February 2018, those airlines flew more than 27,000 flights between Jakarta and Singapore, transporting 4.6 million passengers between the two airports.

Next: Don’t miss the second busiest air route in the world. 

2. Hong Kong to Taipei

There are a whipping 79 flights per day between Taipei and Hong Kong. | Discover Hong Kong

  • HKG to TPE
  • 28,887 flights in a year = 79 flights per day

OAG explains that five airlines fly between Hong Kong and Taipei, the second busiest air route in the world. Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, EVA Airways, Hong Kong Airways, and Cathay Dragon flew almost 29,000 flights on this route between March 2017 and February 2018. And during that time, they transported a staggering 6.5 million passengers between Hong Kong and Taipei.

Next: Can you guess the busiest air route of all? 

1. Kuala Lumpur to Singapore

View of Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s Capital | iStock.com/szefei

  • KUL to SIN
  • 30,537 flights in a year = 83 flights per day

OAG reports that there are seven airlines that fly between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore: Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines, SilkAir, Jetstar, Singapore Airlines, Malindo Airlines, and Scoot. Those airlines operated more than 30,000 flights on the route from March 2017 to February 2018, carrying more than 4 million passengers between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore — the busiest air route in the world.

Read more: Flight Attendants Reveal the Things They’re Silently Judging You For

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