Top 10 busiest domestic routes in the world 2022

Every year OAG, a global travel data provider, publishes an analysis of the world’s busiest, most competitive, longest-running and most profitable airlines. Recently, it released the “Busiest Routes 2022” report, which assesses and provides updates on the world’s busiest flight routes by scheduled seats in the last 12 months (October 2021-September 2022). Based on this report, let’s find out the top 10 busiest airlines around the globe in 2022.

Over the past 12 months, the Asia Pacific region has held a dominant position, comprising 9 of the top 10 busiest domestic routes operated by carriers worldwide.

10. Beijing-Shanghai (PEK-SHA)

The Chinese flight route from Beijing Capital International Airport to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport was the 10. The flight distance between these two Chinese airports is about 1075 km, and the estimated travel time is about 2.2 hours. The major airlines that operate services on the PEK-SHA route are China Eastern Airlines, Air China, and Hainan Airlines.

9. Jakarta-Bali (CGK-DPS)

Ranking ninth on the list is an Indonesian route between Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Airport and Denpasar-Bali Airport. From October 2021 to September 2022, airlines offered 6,741,923 seats in this sector. The average travel time from Jakarta to Bali is 1 hour and 50 minutes, covering a distance of 983 km. The popular carriers that fly nonstop on the CGK-DPS routes are Super Air Jet, Lion Air, Batik Air, Indonesia AirAsia, and Citilink. Jakarta and Bali are Indonesia’s top tourist attractions, and thus airlines see many leisure travelers flying between these cities.

8. Tokyo Haneda-Okinawa Naha (HND-OKA)

The flight service from Tokyo Haneda Airport to Okinawa Naha Airport is the eighth busiest domestic route in the world in terms of scheduled seats. The HND-OKA sector has an average flight time of 2 hours 30 minutes and a travel distance of 1554 kilometers. With a seat volume of 6,910,809 passengers, this Japanese domestic route is served directly by Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways,



7. Mumbai-Delhi (BOM-DEL)

India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world, with an increasing demand for domestic and international air travel. Connecting the capital of Maharashtra State with the Indian capital, the Mumbai-Delhi air route is one of the sought-after routes in India and, as ranked by OAG, the seventh busiest route in the country. The BOM-DEL route has offered 6,941,947 seats in the last 12 months by various carriers like IndiGo, SpiceJet, Go First, AirAsia, Air India, etc. . It takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to reach Delhi from Mumbai, and the air distance between these two hubs is 1137 km.

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indigo employs domestic routes
IndiGo VT-ISV : Photo from Eurospot

6. Melbourne-Sydney (MEL-SYD)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia followed strict travel rules that resulted in a dramatic decrease in air traffic. Now that it has dropped tough COVID-19 restrictions, its air travel demand appears to be returning to normal. The flight route from Melbourne Airport to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport offered the seventh largest volume of scheduled seats in the world, ranking seventh among the top 10 busiest domestic routes in the world in 2022. The MEL-SYD sector has a flight distance. of around 700 km, and it takes an average of 1 hour and 25 minutes to travel between two cities by air. A handful of Australian carriers have a presence on this route, ie Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, Qantas Airways, and Fiji Airways.

qantas operates domestic routes

5. Jeddah-Riyadh (JED-RUH)

Saudi Arabia hosts two of the largest airports in the world in terms of floor area: King Fahd International Airport in Dammam and King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh. However, Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport is Saudi Arabia’s busiest airport serving the highest number of international travelers in the country. Domestically, no route is busier than JED-RUH, which connects two vital airports between the cities of Jeddah and Riyadh. In one year, from October 2021 to September 2022, there were 7,371,119 seats offered by significant carriers such as Saudia, Flyadeal and Flynas. The JED-RUH flight covers a distance of 838 km in almost 1 hour and 40 minutes. An average of 100 flights take off and land every day between these two Saudi Arabian cities.

Saudi Arabia's new airline - AviationNepal operates domestic routes

Among the top 10 busiest domestic routes in 2022, the airline route from Jeddah Airport to Riyadh King Khalid International Airport is the only one operating outside the Asia Pacific.

Saudi Arabia is an emerging key player in the aviation industry, which has entered a new phase of rapid aviation growth in recent years. Projected to see a two-fold increase in passenger traffic and commercial fleet over the next two decades, Saudi Arabia is positioning itself as a leader in the development of air traffic infrastructure and is committed to investing $100 billion in the aviation sector by 2030.

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4. Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (HAN-SGN)

Another Asian airline route that will make it to the list of busiest domestic flight sectors in 2022 by seats is Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City. In the last 12 months, this route has the fourth largest volume of scheduled seats used with 8,562,009. Vietnam Airlines, VietJet Air, Bamboo Airways, FlexFlight, Vietravel Airlines, etc., operate flights from Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) to Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN). Passengers flying from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City have to spend 2 hours and 15 minutes on board the plane to cover a distance of 1159 km.

busy domestic routes bamboo airlines

Noi Bai International Airport, the main airport serving the capital city of Hanoi, is the primary hub of the flagship carrier Vietnam Airlines and other low-cost carriers such as Bamboo Airways, Pacific Airlines, and VietJet Air. None of the domestic routes that Noi Bai Airport offers can beat Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City, which is the most lucrative route in Vietnam.

HAN-SGN route was the number one busiest passenger route in Southeast Asia in 2018, with a total number of passengers of 6,867,114. Four years later, it continues to become the fourth busiest domestic road in the world.

3. Fukuoka-Tokyo Haneda (FUK-HND)

Tokyo Haneda appears again in the top 10 global domestic routes, but this time with another Japanese city. The flight operation from Fukuoka to Tokyo Haneda International Airport is the third busiest in the world, with a total of available seats of 9,894,296 passengers. FUK-HND is a historically busy route, with over 8 million passengers in 2018 alone, making it the fourth largest that year. This Japanese route covers a distance of 880 km and the estimated time duration is 1 hour and 35 minutes.

Fukuoka International Airport is the main airport on Kyushu Island and the most convenient airport in Japan, handling the country’s fourth largest air traffic. Although the airport has connections with other cities such as Tokyo Narita, Naha, Sapporo-Chitose, Fukue, Komatsu, Niigata, Osaka-Itami, etc. of Japan.

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The airlines that operate the FUK-HND service are All Nippon Airways, ANA Wings, Japan Airlines, and Skymark Airlines.

2. Sapporo Chitose-Tokyo Haneda (CTS-HND)

The second place in the list of the top 10 global domestic routes in 2022 is none other than the Sapporo Chitose-Tokyo Haneda route in Japan. This sector has long gained recognition as the busiest passenger route on earth, just behind the Seoul-Jeju route. For the 12 months covering October 2021 to September 2022, the CTS-HND route saw the second largest volume of scheduled seats for 10,216,765 passengers.

The Sapporo (CTS)-Tokyo (HND) flight route connects the Sapporo Metropolitan Greater Tokyo Area and includes a flight distance of 819km. Passengers on this route must travel for 1 hour 40 minutes on a non-stop flight. Air Do, All Nippon Airways, and Japan Airlines fly on this lucrative route.

busy domestic routes

New Chitose Airport (CTS), which serves the Sapporo metropolitan area, is the largest airport in Hokkaido, with over 20 million passenger movements annually. It is one of Japan’s busiest airports with routes throughout the country, including Fukuoka, Kobe, Nagoya-Centrair, Sendai, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita, Hiroshima, Osaka-Itami, Osaka-Kansai, Shizuoka, Kagoshima, Akita, Aomori . , Hanamaki, etc. But the 819 km Sapporo-Tokyo Haneda route remains the most popular, with more than 10 million passengers in 2021-22.

1. Jeju-Seoul Gimpo (CJU-GMP)

The highest global domestic route that has dominated the list for several years in a row is South Korea’s Jeju-Seoul Gimpo sector. This short service between South Korea’s capital and the country’s popular leisure destination has the largest volume of scheduled seats at 16,068,983 in the past 12 months.

busy domestic routes
Korean Air in the photo; Articles dealing with domestic routes

This busy domestic route sees an average of 224 flights operated by carriers such as Air Busan, Air Seoul, Asian Airlines, Hi Air, Jeju Air, Jin Air, Korean Air, and T’way Air. The CJU-GMP route originates from South Korea’s second largest airport – Jeju International Airport, to serve the country’s third largest airport – Gimpo International Airport in Seoul.


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