For most people, international leisure travel is currently a thing of the past.
Covid-19 travel restrictions mean that air passenger numbers remain very low around the world and that the routes that now qualify as being the world’s busiest are not those you might expect.
Travel analyst OAG has been crunching the 2021 numbers to find out who’s flying when and where.
Last month, Dubai-London Heathrow was the highest-capacity international route, with more than 190,000 seats scheduled in January. Dubai’s popularity as a quarantine-free winter sun destination for British travelers ended when the UAE was added to the UK’s “red list” of countries hit by new travel bans.
With Dubai-London out of the top 10, the route heading the leaderboard is now Orlando-San Juan, with 135,244 seats scheduled for February.
The top 10 domestic routes globally were dominated by Asia, with only Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah-Riyadh (504,840) and Mexico’s Cancun-Mexico City (374,972) being outside the region.
The number one domestic route was South Korea’s Jeju-International to Seoul-Gimpo (1,119,037). The only other route to break a million was Vietnam’s Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City (1,085,472).
There were significant reductions in Chinese domestic capacity this month, says OAG, with the triangle of domestic routes between Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou dropping out of the top 10. Beijing-Shanghai capacity has fallen by 60% while Shanghai-Guangzhou has dropped by 55%.