Asia Dominates January 2023’s Most Popular International Flight Routes

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NEWS - For those wondering where the most popular flight routes are worldwide, we're here to report the 2023 results based on airline occupancy.

Each month, OAG releases airline data to better understand people's movements. They use scheduled seats on international airlines for their rankings.

Here are the top 5 busiest international flight routes for January 2023:

  1. Kuala Lumpur - Singapore (407,428 seats)
  2. Cairo - Jedda (346,791 seats)
  3. Dubai - Riyadh (318,738 seats)
  4. Seoul Incheon – Osaka Kansai (297,838 seats)
  5. Seoul Incheon – Bangkok (296,012 seats)

It is clear that Asia dominates the skies, with Kuala Lumpur to Singapore leading the way.

Although technically speaking, Seoul Incheon should be the top destination since it garnered a total of 593,850 booked flight seats for the first month of this year, albeit from two different places of origin.

With almost 1.7 million international airline seats, eight destinations are from Asia, and only one is in Africa. This is a most welcome sign for the aviation industry because flight routes to this continent have dropped since 2020 due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Now that travel is returning to normal, Asia strikes back, and flight passengers are raring to see the beautiful places and unique travel experiences that this continent offers. Asia is, after all, known for its extraordinary sights, culinary delights, affordable shopping, and great entertainment.

But it is also evident that the top 5 most popular international flight routes are relatively short and mostly intra-continental flights.

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Rounding up the top 10 are:

  • Bangkok - Singapore
  • Jakarta - Singapore
  • New York JFK - London Heathrow
  • Dubai - Jedda
  • Seoul Incheon - Tokyo Narita

It could very well be a case of Asians supporting other Asian countries due to proximity and affordability of travel costs.

Several factors can explain the absence of US and EU routes in the top 5. They can direct passengers to other regional routes, therefore, decongesting their airports and the unpopularity of those flight routes.

And aside from air travel, they offer other viable modes of transportation that passengers also find convenient and affordable. Their rail systems, for instance, are far better than those found in the Asian Pacific.

Relating this information to OAG's list of most popular flight routes, this serves as a challenge to the Asian aviation industry to improve its services to travelers, encouraging the public to choose to travel through the skies rather than on land or sea.

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It is not enough that they are now considered the most popular flight routes. It is crucial to maintain or even improve these numbers.

With the industry's losses in the past two years, they cannot afford to lose more passengers right now. The way to strike back and maintain the Asian aviation boom is to offer better deals and services so that passengers will continue to patronize this international mode of transportation despite the short distance between these nations.

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