The 15 most popular flights in the world

A Qantas Airbus A380 at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport.

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A Qantas Airbus A380 at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport.
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EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

  • Travel data provider OAG recently released its annual list of the busiest routes in the world, and the number of flights airlines operate between some destinations is simply astonishing.
  • Eight of the 15 most popular flights in the world are in Asia.
  • The busiest route in the world is between Seoul and Jeju Island, South Korea with more than 79,000 flights a year.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

With air travel growing at an impressive rate around the world, certain routes have developed into veritable highways in the sky.

Recently, travel data provider OAG released its annual list of the busiest routes in the world, and the number of flights airlines operate between some destinations is simply astonishing.

According to the OAG rankings, based on the total number of flights between two airports, routes in Asia take up eight of the top 15 spots. That’s no surprise to OAG senior analyst John Grant.

“Asia is once again home to the world’s busiest routes,” Grand said in a statement. “In addition to the dominant role played by Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Jakarta have become Asia’s new ‘golden triangle,’ offering similar benefits to major U.S. hubs, Boston, New York, and Washington.”

Read more: The 20 biggest airlines in the world, ranked.

The busiest route in the world is between Seoul and the popular vacation destination of Jeju Island, just south of the Korean Peninsula. In 2018, seven airlines combined to operate 79,460 flights between Seoul’s Gimpo International Airport and Jeju International. That breaks down to roughly 201 flights per day – making it the most popular flight in the world.

Asiana led the way with 19,434 flights last year followed by Jeju Airlines with 14,286 flights. Korean Air finished third with 11,909 flights, just ahead of Jin Air’s 11,290 flights.

Incredibly, the 15 busiest routes in the world are also domestic. The most popular international route – between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – finished 16th with 30,187 flights.

The most popular flight in the US is between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Last year, five airlines operated 35,365 flights between the two California cities.

Here’s a closer look at the busiest routes in the world (also known as the most popular flights in the world).


15. Bogotá, Colombia (BOG) — Medellin, Colombia (MDE).

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Bogota Airport.
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tateyama/Shutterstock

Flights per year: 31,279

Airlines serving the route: 3


14. Jakarta, Indonesia (CGK) — Denpasar, Indonesia (DPS).

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I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar on the island of Bali.
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Cocos.Bounty / Shutterstock.com

Flights per year: 31,958

Airlines serving the route: 6


13. Cusco, Peru (CUZ) — Lima, Peru (LIM).

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Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco, Peru.
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Christian Vinces / Shutterstock.com

Flights per year: 32,095

Airlines serving the route: 6


12. Brisbane, Australia (BNE) — Sydney, Australia (SYD).

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Brisbane Airport.
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TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock.com

Flights per year: 33,443

Airlines serving the route: 4


11. Cape Town, South Africa (CPT) — Johannesburg, South Africa (JNB).

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Cape Town International Airport .
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EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Flights per year: 33,708

Airlines serving the route: 6


10. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (JED) — Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (RUH).

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Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport.
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Fedor Selivanov / Shutterstock.com

Flights per year: 35,149

Airlines serving the route: 5


9. Los Angeles, California (LAX) — San Francisco, California (SFO).

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Los Angeles International Airport.
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Shutterstock/Philip Pilosian

Flights per year: 35,365

Airlines serving the route: 5


8. Jakarta, Indonesia (CGK) — Surabaya, Indonesia (SUB).

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Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia.
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Paramet Sara / Shutterstock.com

Flights per year: 37,762

Airlines serving the route: 6


7. Sapporo, Japan (CTS) — Tokyo, Japan (HND).

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Tokyo Haneda International Airport.
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REUTERS/Kyodo Kyodo

Flights per year: 39,271

Airlines serving the route: 4


6. Hanoi, Vietnam (HAN) — Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (SGN).

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Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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Huy Thoai / Shutterstock.com

Flights per year: 39,291

Airlines serving the route: 3


5. Fukuoka, Japan (FUK) — Tokyo, Japan (HND).

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Fukuoka Airport.
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Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com

Flights per year: 39,406

Airlines serving the route: 4


4. Sao Paulo, Brazil (CGH) — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (SDU).

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São Paulo–Congonhas Airport.
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Patricia Burilli Fencz / Shutterstock.com

Flights per year: 39,747

Airlines serving the route: 3


3. Mumbai, India (BOM) — New Delhi, India (DEL).

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Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.
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Tooykrub / Shutterstock.com

Flights per year: 45,188

Airlines serving the route: 6


2. Melbourne, Australia (MEL) — Sydney, Australia (SYD).

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Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport.
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EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Flights per year: 54,102

Airlines serving the route: 4


1. Jeju, South Korea (CJU) — Seoul, South Korea (GMP).

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Jeju International Airport.
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Johnathan21 / Shutterstock.com

Flights per year: 79,460

Airlines serving the route: 7