There are several golden routes in the air. Some naturally belong to flag bearing carriers, but others are open to competition. Knowing where these five paths fly and who operates the top-earning routes, tells us a lot about customer demand and airline reputation and market dominance. And while the top route by revenue is quite well-known there are some surprises in the list. Let’s count down and find out more.
Number Five – American Airlines LAX-JFK
In fifth place, this incredibly important coast-to-coast route serves as a point-to-point product but so much more. JFK is the international hub for flights East to Europe and beyond. For American Airlines, being able to offer West Coast travellers the first half of their leg on AA also increases the chances they’ll book with them all the way through. But even alone, the route generated revenue of almost 700 million dollars last year.
Number Four – Singapore Airlines LHR-SIN
The first London Heathrow entry in our list is for Singapore, not just a gateway to the East, but also just as often, a stop-over to Australia and New Zealand too. But with Qantas now ramping up to deliver non-stop flights between London and Perth, this could hit SA’s revenue ratings on this leg.
Number Three – Emirates LHR-DXB
The next slot is also a Heathrow flight and just like the Singapore Airlines route, this also serves the stop-over crowd en-route to Australia and New Zealand. While many are still speculating whether NZ travellers will still fly cheaper via Dubai, only time will tell. This route is currently worth over $800 million a year to the state owned Investment Corporation of Dubai.
Number Two – Qantas Airways MEL-SYD
If you’re wondering where Qantas found the money to start investing in direct routes to London, here’s your answer. This rather short, 443 mile hop is a surprising entry so high u the list. That is, until your realise this route takes just 45 minutes by air compared to the over 4 hours train ride, and costs about the same.
But linking Australia’s two major cities is much more profitable than linking the comparative cities of London and Edinburgh, because Sydney and Melbourne have a much closer and more exclusive relationship. In business terms, they are a married couple in a (for Qantas at least) highly lucrative, long distance relationship.
Number One – British Airways JFK-LHR
But the highest revenue route in the world is the iconic BA London to New York flight. This billion-dollar service generates revenue of $25k dollars an hour for British Airways and gives us an indication as to why BA is supporting the new third runway here, rather than at Gatwick. Heathrow is the second busiest international airport in the World (DXB holds the world record as it’s the main hub for all of the Middle East), but Heathrow’s proximity to London, the financial capital of the world and London’s proximity to New York, the financial first-officer, makes this another marriage made in heaven for the airlines and one BA will fight to hold on to as long as it flies a Union Jack on its tail.