|Creative Commons licensed photo by 螺钉.|
What are the ten busiest air routes in the world? Place your bets.
Which cities did you guess?
London-Paris? Wrong, they have too much competition from trains, boats and automobiles. Besides the British and the French aren't particularly fond of each other. An Abba song allegedly caused some trouble.
New York-Chicago? Wrong, the economy of the country is going down the drains. Besides, Americans love their cars, vans and trucks. Why fly when you can clock up some miles on the odometer? Petrol is still cheap "over there". Compared to here, at least.
Moscow-St. Petersburg? Wrong, there were too many journalists looking for Snowdon in the airport that there were no room for passengers to boost the volumes.
None of the top ten routes are even in Europe or in North America. No joke.
Number one is between an airport you haven't heard about and an island you didn't know existed. Or do you actually know where Gimpo airport is? It is the secondary airport of Seoul, South Korea. It mainly caters for domestic flights. And the most popular destination, by far, is Jeju Island, south of the country. Why? It is the beach paradise of Korea, where Koreans flock for weddings, stag nights, family holidays, mountain hiking, Korean barbeques or anything else you can think of. I have travelled the route myself, and have never seen so many airlines travel to the same destination. There were flights, as in plural, every hour. And I would recommend flying Jeju Air. The cabin crew will play rock, scissors paper with the passengers. The last passenger still in the game wins a prize. Creative!
Seven of the top ten air routes are in Asia, the last three are on three different continents. And not in North America or Europe, but in Africa, Oceania and South America. Did someone say the western economies are going bust? Do not believe them!
Only one of the routes is an international route, between Hong Kong, technically a part of China, and Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. Four of the routes are in Japan, according to Amadeus.
Top ten air routes of the world
1. Jeju-Seoul: 10.1 million passengers.
2. Sapporo-Tokyo: 8.2 million passengers.
3. Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo: 7.7 million passengers.
4. Beijing-Shanghai: 7.2 million passengers.
5. Melbourne-Sydney: 6.9 million passengers.
6. Osaka-Tokyo: 6.7 million passengers.
7. Fukuoka-Tokyo: 6.6 million passengers.
8. Hong Kong-Taipei: 5.5 million passengers.
9. Okinawa-Tokyo: 4.6 million passengers.
10. Cape Town-Johannesburg: 4.4 million passengers.