As we reveal the world’s top-20 largest international routes, we see the number-one is surrounded by controversy. Europe and the US feature seven times, but Europe would also appear four times if it were not for the soon-to-start Qatar-England ban. If Puerto Rico were a sovereign nation, Orlando to San Juan would be the world’s leading international route.
The world’s top-20 international markets have been revealed, with Moscow Domodedovo to Simferopol leading the pack. Given the geopolitical situation between Russia and Ukraine, this is controversial, so readers may prefer Cairo-Jeddah as the world’s number-one instead.
European airports feature just three times in the top-20, OAG data indicates, with US airports only one ahead. But it’s really all about the Middle East, with 11 appearances, mainly because of Dubai.
The data is for the first week of the (northern hemisphere) summer season, which kicks off on March 28th. It is the latest available and it’s at the airport-level only. Results would naturally be quite different at the city-level.
The top-20 are shown below:
|From||To||Weekly seats (two ways)|
|New York JFK||Santiago (Dominican Republic)||28,408|
|Istanbul Airport||Tehran Imam Khomeini||25,227|
|New York JFK||Santo Domingo||25,036|
|Cancun||Dallas Fort Worth||23,304|
|London Heathrow||New York JFK||21,366|
|Istanbul Airport||Moscow Vnukovo||19,504|
Domodedovo-Simferopol #1, but controversial
Moscow Domodedovo to Simferopol will have 94 weekly departures and up to 14 per day – as in the screenshot, below – across Ural Airlines, S7 Airlines, Nordavia, and Red Wings. For all of Moscow to Simferopol, that rises to 153 weekly departures with seven airlines.
New York JFK to Santiago top for the US
Ranking fifth-largest worldwide, with just over 28,000 non-stop seats in this week, is the first US airport-pair: JFK to Santiago. The 1,475-mile sector will see 74 weekly departures – up to 11 daily – across JetBlue and Delta.
This market has grown hugely, with nearly double (98%) the weekly departures than in the same week in 2019, and 6% more than its previous high in the past decade. Of course, this says nothing of likely performance, whether by fares, loads, or otherwise.
Santiago is one of four Dominican Republic routes from JFK to operate this week, joining Santo Domingo (ninth-largest globally) and, while far smaller, Punta Cana and Puerto Plata.
Doha to Heathrow was #20, but no more
Filling the last spot in the top-20 list was Doha to Heathrow, which was to have over 19,000 seats in this one week. This has been cut to reflect the new ban on non-stop flights between Qatar and England, which was announced on March 16th and begins on March 19th. In its place is now Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.
Orlando to San Juan would be #1
A special mention must go to Orlando to San Juan. If Puerto Rico were a sovereign nation, this airport-pair would be the world’s number-one international. It expects 112 weekly departures and up to 16 daily, a quarter more than in 2019, with the US spring break helping.
Southwest entered this market in 2013 following its acquisition of AirTran, with Frontier joining four years later. This market is now a true battleground between low-cost, hybrid, and ultra-low-cost carriers.
What surprises you most about the top-20 global list? Comment below!