The Busiest Airline Routes in the World

OAG has revealed the busiest routes in the world for 2023. The analysis is powered by OAG’s Global Airline Schedules Data and provides an overview of route performance and trends, both internationally and domestically.

New York (JFK) to London Heathrow (LHR) is the only international route originating in the U.S. to make the “Top 10 Busiest Global International Airline Routes” list, ranking No. 8 with 3,878,590 seats in 2023. JFK–LHR is also the only 2023 international route with capacity above 2019 levels, with 3.5 million seats from London to New York, an increase of 1 percent over 2019.

Three routes that are included in this year’s top 10 U.S. domestic routes did not appear in the top 10 in 2019. These are No. 1 ranking Honolulu (HNL) to Kahului (OGG), No. 5 ranking Denver (DEN) to Las Vegas (LAS) and No. 8 ranking Denver (DEN) to Phoenix (PHX). Los Angeles (LAX) to San Francisco (SFO) ranks No. 6 this year after ranking No. 1 in 2019.

U.S. airports dominate the “Top 10 Busiest Global Airports” list this year, with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) ranking No. 1 with 61 million seats. It was also the busiest global airport in 2022 and 2019. Two U.S. airports in this year’s top 10 did not appear in the 2019 top 10: Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), ranking No. 5, and Denver International Airport (DEN), ranking No. 6. Rounding out the U.S. airports in this year’s Top 10 are Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), ranking No. 8, and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), ranking No. 9.

Outside of the U.S., Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Singapore Changi (SIN) ranks as the No. 1 busiest global international route in the world, and Dubai International Airport (DXB) ranks as the No. 2 busiest global airport in the world.

The busiest routes are defined as those with the largest volume of scheduled airline seats in 2023. Data is for flights in both directions on each route. The annual “Busiest Routes” report is collated from the monthly “Busiest Routes” reports, which are sourced from OAG’s Schedules Analyzer in the first week of each month. The data reflects the most recent year for the busiest scheduled domestic and international aviation routes in each category. Historical capacity data for 2019 and 2022 have been included for comparison.

The “Top 10 Busiest Global Airports” in the world are calculated using total airline capacity (domestic and international flights). The “Top 10 Busiest International Airports” are calculated using international airline capacity only. The rankings are based on scheduled one-way airline capacity for the year 2023.

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