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Busiest Air Routes in the World

Guess the cities that are connected by the busiest air routes in the world, measured by number of annual passengers.
For the year 2017
Last updated: March 19, 2019
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Passengers
City
City
13.5 mil
Jeju
Seoul
9.09 mil
Melbourne
Sydney
8.73 mil
Sapporo
Tokyo
7.86 mil
Fukuoka
Tokyo
7.73 mil
Bangkok
Phuket
7.13 mil
Delhi
Mumbai
6.83 mil
Beijing
Shanghai
6.77 mil
Hanoi
Ho Chi Minh City
6.72 mil
Hong Kong
Taipei
6.11 mil
Istanbul
İzmir
5.40 mil
Bangkok
Chiang Mai
5.27 mil
Surabaya
Jakarta
5.27 mil
Naha
Tokyo
5.11 mil
Osaka
Tokyo
5.09 mil
Jeddah
Riyadh
4.95 mil
Bali (Denpasar)
Jakarta
4.95 mil
Beijing
Chengdu
4.86 mil
Beijing
Guangzhou
4.81 mil
Jakarta
Singapore
4.74 mil
Brisbane
Sydney
4.70 mil
Johannesburg
Cape Town
4.66 mil
Cancun
Mexico City
4.56 mil
Makassar
Jakarta
4.50 mil
Beijing
Shenzhen
4.47 mil
Guangzhou
Shanghai
4.45 mil
Shanghai
Shenzhen
4.18 mil
Bangalore
Delhi
4.16 mil
Hong Kong
Shanghai
4.11 mil
Kuala Lumpur
Singapore
4.10 mil
Rio de Janeiro
São Paulo
3.89 mil
Medan
Jakarta
3.55 mil
Brisbane
Melbourne
3.53 mil
Los Angeles
New York City
3.51 mil
Los Angeles
San Francisco
3.45 mil
Bangalore
Mumbai
3.44 mil
Bangkok
Hong Kong
3.32 mil
Bogotá
Medellin
3.23 mil
Cebu
Manila
3.21 mil
Da Nang
Ho Chi Minh City
3.21 mil
London
Dubai
3.20 mil
Mexico City
Monterrey
3.20 mil
Hong Kong
Seoul
3.15 mil
Delhi
Kolkata
3.15 mil
Hong Kong
Singapore
3.12 mil
Chicago
New York City
3.00 mil
Cusco
Lima
3.00 mil
Mexico City
Guadalajara
2.97 mil
London
New York City
2.96 mil
Beijing
Hong Kong
Passengers
City
City
2.95 mil
Toronto
Vancouver
2.94 mil
Chengdu
Guangzhou
2.93 mil
Chicago
Los Angeles
2.91 mil
Hong Kong
Manila
2.91 mil
Osaka
Seoul
2.88 mil
Beijing
Hangzhou
2.85 mil
Johannesburg
Durban
2.84 mil
Atlanta
Orlando
2.82 mil
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
2.81 mil
Jakarta
Kuala Lumpur
2.79 mil
Busan
Jeju
2.77 mil
Los Angeles
Seattle
2.74 mil
Gold Coast
Sydney
2.73 mil
Bogotá
Cali
2.65 mil
Guangzhou
Hangzhou
2.64 mil
Montréal
Toronto
2.63 mil
Jinghong
Kunming
2.62 mil
Auckland
Wellington
2.61 mil
Kota Kinabalu
Kuala Lumpur
2.61 mil
Davao
Manila
2.60 mil
Delhi
Pune
2.60 mil
Bangkok
Singapore
2.59 mil
Taipei
Tokyo
2.58 mil
Delhi
Hyderabad
2.57 mil
Bogotá
Cartagena
2.55 mil
Kagoshima
Tokyo
2.54 mil
Beijing
Xi'an
2.54 mil
Goa (Vasco da Gama)
Mumbai
2.54 mil
Christchurch
Auckland
2.53 mil
Da Nang
Hanoi
2.53 mil
Osaka
Taipei
2.52 mil
Denver
Los Angeles
2.52 mil
Bangkok
Hat Yai
2.51 mil
Chengdu
Shenzhen
2.49 mil
Beijing
Chongqing
2.47 mil
Chongqing
Guangzhou
2.46 mil
Chennai
Delhi
2.45 mil
Adelaide
Melbourne
2.43 mil
Makassar
Surabaya
2.39 mil
Kuwait City
Dubai
2.39 mil
Atlanta
New York City
2.38 mil
Mumbai
Dubai
2.38 mil
Kuala Lumpur
Penang (George Town)
2.38 mil
Ankara
Istanbul
2.38 mil
Chennai
Mumbai
2.36 mil
Atlanta
Fort Lauderdale
2.35 mil
Jakarta
Padang
2.34 mil
Kuala Lumpur
Kuching
+6
level 76
Feb 4, 2019
Lol Bangkok to Phuket Sorry I couldn't resist. And yes I know its pronounced foo-KET
+9
level 48
Feb 4, 2019
It's pronounced Poo-KET actually.
+4
level 71
Feb 7, 2019
ahh, Phuket.
+5
level 60
Feb 4, 2019
Hard to believe that Jeju-Seoul is over four times busier than London-NY...
+2
level 79
Feb 4, 2019
Well domestic flights are far more common than international flights. Hong Kong – Taipei is the only non domestic trip in the top 18.
+34
level 72
Feb 5, 2019
But that's a domestic flight! (this message brought to you by the People's Republic of China)
+15
level 72
Feb 5, 2019
Republic of China actually agrees :D
+5
level 47
Feb 11, 2019
As someone who has flown this route: It's almost like a bus service. No big planes but soo many of them. Just check out flight radar. It's crazy. All of South Korea goes to Jeju for vacation.
+1
level 52
Mar 19, 2019
Ugh, I knew this and just spelled Jeju wrong the first time -- why didn't I keep trying?
+3
level 48
Feb 4, 2019
Bali and Penang are not cities. Bali is an island in Indonesia and Penang is a state in Malaysia. The respective cities where the major airports are located are Denpasar (for Bali) and George Town (for Penang). Please correct or at least make it so that Denpasar is accepted for Bali and George Town for Penang.
+1
level ∞
Feb 5, 2019
Fixed, thanks
+2
level 66
Mar 20, 2019
I don't think anyone from Denpasar calls their town "Bali," but I think lots of people in George Town call theirs "Penang."
+1
level 27
Mar 21, 2019
Yes, i come from there and i can prove it (lived there since birth)
+1
level 72
Feb 5, 2019
Please accept Busan for Gimhae. ALthough the airport is in Gimhae it mostly services the city of Busan.
+1
level ∞
Feb 5, 2019
Thanks for the heads up. Changed the answer to Busan.
+2
level 33
Mar 19, 2019
Train to busan.
+4
level 70
Feb 5, 2019
nice! I think it would be nice for example to write in bold rows that refer to international flights. a map with all lines drawn in would be nice although I guess it wouldnt be easy since each line would correspond to two answers
+1
level 37
Feb 12, 2019
That could be a possibility. I'll look into it. Thanks for the feedback!
+4
level 56
Feb 5, 2019
Goa is not a city. In fact, Goa is the smallest state in India. The answer should be Dabolim or Vasco Da Gama.
+2
level ∞
Feb 5, 2019
Okay
+3
level 71
Feb 5, 2019
An amazing quiz. Looks like all the travel between European cities happens by train.
+1
level 72
Feb 5, 2019
Possibly more by bus. Europe is in general more compact than US.
+2
level 49
Mar 19, 2019
The high speed trains of Europe are more efficient than their planes. The fastest way from London to Paris or Paris to Brussels or London to Brussels is either Eurostar or Thalys. Same goes with the cities of France, Spain, Germany e.t.c. If you like to take train and Rail Transport related quiz, then you would might like to check my quizzes
+1
level 37
Feb 12, 2019
Thanks! Love your quizzes too!
+3
level 55
Mar 19, 2019
Possibly. All countries in Europe except Russia and possibly some Scandinavian countries are small enough that any journey within the country can be made with relative ease without using a plane. International journeys are different though. I would guess that maybe one factor is that there is quite a lot of choice of airports. I have been to three different Greek Islands, and each of them had a separate airport that could be flown to from Manchester.
+2
level 78
Mar 20, 2019
Actually, all the Scandinavian countries are smaller than Ukraine , France and Spain; and Germany is bigger than Finland too. They just seem bigger than they are in the common Mercator projection.
+3
level 66
Mar 20, 2019
Your point about flights from Manchester makes me wonder if part of the reason that Europe is so little represented on this list is that the Ryanairs and Easyjets of Europe (tend to) fly to and from smaller airports with minimal landing fees, thus diverting traffic from other routes.
+1
level 70
Mar 27, 2019
Well that explains *between* European cities, but how are people getting *to* Europe in the first place? I can't believe that Paris is not on this list, being one of the most visited cities in the world. And NY-LON's not on there? I am suspicious.
+1
level 28
Feb 5, 2019
I got 93/93 without cheating
+10
level 56
Mar 19, 2019
Thanks for sharing...
+2
level 57
Feb 5, 2019
Wow, I guess Europeans don't fly much....
+1
level 67
Mar 20, 2019
The distances to other European countries is shorter, so in some cases a train is cheaper or faster. Also, you have to take into account that China's population alone is bigger than all of Europe; hence more people is more travel.
+2
level 18
Feb 11, 2019
Can you allow LA for Los Angeles? Great quiz!
+2
level 37
Feb 12, 2019
I can try, but I don't think I'll be able to. Thanks!
+4
level 60
Feb 19, 2019
I thought maybe Rome or Paris would make the list. But I guess even though they get a lot of visitors those are from all over rather than from one destination.
+2
level 37
Feb 20, 2019
Yes, that is true, but Europeans are more known for taking the trains.
+1
level 60
Mar 21, 2019
I myself take a plane where a train takes more than 4-5 hours or a lot of transfers. But it sounds about right now that I think about it. I mean there are a lot of train and intercity bus stations all over Europe and traveling that way is usually way cheaper if you consider that comparable budget Airlines (like Ryan Air) usually use airports far off the city they "belong" to. Like Frankfurt-Hahn is 120km from Frankfurt.
+2
level 56
Mar 19, 2019
I am surprised that Paris isn't on the list, as I'd have thought it was one of the major European hubs (London certainly is). Madrid is also (so I thought anyway) the major hub for Europe from most of South America, so I was expecting to see that here. But evidently there aren't any individual routes with large enough passenger numbers.
+1
level 49
Mar 19, 2019
Got Surabaya but forgot Shanghai. Maybe I should go and jump from a plane........
+1
level 55
Mar 19, 2019
Please accept Xishuangbanna for Jinghong
+2
level 20
Mar 19, 2019
I agree with cuotak. The spelling of these asian cities are tedious and time consuming. I was spelling xishuangbanna for my last one and the timer ran out.
+1
level 43
Mar 19, 2019
Anyone who said a perfect score was easy is either lying or cheating. How can Washington and Paris and Israeli cities not be on here but lesser known Asian cities be known to be on here?
+3
level 66
Mar 20, 2019
Maybe they were one end of a flight path that carried more passengers in 2017.
+1
level 56
Mar 19, 2019
dublin -london had 4.5 million passengers in 2018 apparently
+1
level 67
Mar 19, 2019
Some of these are very puzzling, like Dubai to Mexico City. There doesn't appear to be any airline that actually flies this route!
+2
level 55
Mar 19, 2019
Aeroflot, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue, AirCanada, British Airways, Emirates, KLM, Lufthansa, Swiss Air, American Airlines, AirFrance and China Southern Airlines all do.
+3
level 67
Mar 19, 2019
Haha, yeah, with 1 or 2 connections! Just checked the source, and this is supposed to be Kuwait City, not Mexico City!
+2
level 75
Mar 19, 2019
Kuwait City would make a lot more sense! I guessed that.
+1
level 55
Mar 19, 2019
Ah OK I should probably have checked my source a bit more.
+2
level ∞
Mar 19, 2019
Well, crap. Sorry about that. It has now been fixed. Unfortunately, I had to reset the stats.
+1
level 78
Mar 19, 2019
For the same reason you accept Bali for Denpasar, I believe you should accept Okinawa for Naha.
+1
level 75
Mar 20, 2019
I tried Okinawa! and I think I was just one answer away from getting 5 points, too. Darn it.
+1
level 50
Mar 21, 2019
I had to look up Jeju. No Paris?
+2
level 75
Mar 22, 2019
Almost no European cities at all.
+2
level 37
Mar 22, 2019
Europe is mainly accessed by train, so I am not surprised that there aren't many flights around Europe.
+1
level 75
Mar 26, 2019
I don't think that's it. China, Japan, and South Korea have a lot of high-speed rail, too, and it's not like you can't get around the USA by train if you really want to. More probable reason is that European cities are not quite as big, and European countries are small so there are not many domestic flights that take place in Europe (notice that a large percentage of these routes are domestic flights). There's a lot of reasons for why that is: few people do business or have family living abroad relative to the number of people that travel for work or family holidays/leisure within their own country, also lower taxes and fees for domestic flights make them cheaper and more attractive, so while many European cities have very busy airports those airports have a wider range of destinations that they are servicing; a few major routes don't stand out apart from the rest. That's my guess anyway.
+1
level 75
Mar 26, 2019
Also, people get an inaccurate sense of how many visitors European cities get looking at tourism stats, which often only look at international travel to the exclusion of domestic, and that gives you ridiculously distorted statistics for a small continent full of tiny countries that share a common economic and immigration zone between most of them.
+1
level 75
Mar 26, 2019
In the first column there are only 8 international routes. 8 out of 47.
+1
level 49
Mar 22, 2019
Another try and this time I forgot London. Faceplam !
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