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SYD-MEL route now world’s second busiest (and growing)

Which city-pairing topped the list?

For a country of just 25 million or so people, we certainly punch above our weight when it comes to travel. And that goes for domestic as much as international. 


Case in point: of all off the air routes in the world, and per The International Air Transport Association (IATA) there are over 20,000 of them, the route between Sydney and Melbourne is now the second busiest in the world. 



Finishing only behind South Korea’s Seoul Gimpo-Jeju pairing, which offered a whopping 13.5 million seats last year, the Sydney-Melbourne route offered 7.8 million seats in 2017. And that number grew 0.4% over the year prior, which equates to more than 30,000 seats annually. 


According to IATA’s newly released World Air Transport Statistics report, the top five domestic airport-pairs, which were also the busiest routes overall, were all in the Asia-Pacific region. 


Following South Korea and Australia’s busiest, were Tokyo Haneda-Fukuoka (7.6m, Japan), Tokyo Haneda-Sapporo (7.4m) and Beijing Capital-Shanghai Hongqiao (6.4m, China). 


The busiest international city-pairings were: 

  1. Hong Kong-Taipei Taoyuan (5.4m, +1.8%)
  2. Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta-Singapore (3.3m, +0.8%)
  3. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Hong Kong (3.1m, +3.5%)
  4. Kuala Lumpur–Singapore (2.8m, -0.3%)
  5. Hong Kong-Seoul Incheon (2.7m, -2.2%)


According to the report, the Asia-Pacific air travel market accounted for 36.3% of all passengers in 2017, which reflected double-digit growth (10.6%) over 2016.


Last year, airline carried a record 4.1 billion passengers worldwide, a Y-O-Y increase of  7.3%.


The biggest airline (by total scheduled passenger kilometres) was American Airlines (324m), Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 10 September 2018

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