The busiest air routes in the world have once again been identified, and this year’s winner is the tiny island of Jeju South Korea.
Routesonline has published their 2017 findings on the airline industry, analyzing air and passenger traffic throughout the world. For the second time running, the busiest air route with the most passengers is from Seoul, South Korea to the island of Jeju, just off the coast of the Korean Peninsula.
That single domestic route served a staggering 13.4 million passengers in 2017, which was an increase of 9.4% from 2016. The trip is short--only 450 km (280 miles)--but has so many flights scheduled that there’s a plane leaving from Seoul to Jeju every 8 minutes. That’s 180 flights per day.
The tiny tourist island is famous for their white sand beaches and volcanic topography, although there hasn’t been an eruption on the island in centuries. Jeju has a temperate climate, with the temperature reaching into the eighties during the summer and rarely falling below freezing during the winter. Summer is also the rainy season, so tourists get a mix of sun and rain while at the beach.
Asia-Pacific dominated the list of busiest air routes, with the first runner-up being Melbourne to Sydney, Australia. Approximately 9 million passengers made that flight, which is often a layover as well as a destination for tourism and leisure.
The busiest international route was none other than Hong Kong to Taiwan with 6.7 million passengers making the flight in 2017. That route was the 8th most popular overall thanks to a mix of business and leisure travel.
Thailand is a nation that's one to watch with two of the top ten fastest growing routes. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Chiang Mai grew 36% compared with last year, with Bangkok to Phuket growing 15%. Both are domestic flights to popular tourist resort areas.
America didn’t break the top 50 in terms of busiest flights, with LAX to New York’s JFK Airport being the busiest at number 58. We did get the busiest airport however, which is the illustrious Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International--a very common connecting destination and one of the largest airline hubs in the world.