The most lucrative air routes by revenue have been revealed by Aviation analysts, OAG. Looking at data from the first two quarters of 2023, the findings show that domestic routes outnumber international ones in the revenue top 10, where US routes take three spots.
Capacity a bugbear, but domestic routes up
The analysis took 2019 as its comparison year, looking at changes since then, not just in revenue but in capacity too. When it comes to capacity, it’s an ongoing issue, but domestic routes again have recovered faster than international ones.
Read highlights from yesterday’s two #webinar sessions with Paulos Ashebir Lakew from @IATA and Hayley Berg from Hopper. You can also watch full recordings and access the #data slides by clicking below:https://t.co/LGpO0iZUbD— OAG (@OAG_Aviation) October 26, 2023
IATA’s Head of Industry Analysis, Sustainability and Economics, Paulos Ashebir Lakew, discussing the results in a webinar with OAG experts, attributed that demand to “the earlier reopening and lifting of [post-pandemic] restrictions in various domestic markets.”
Taking the number one spot for revenue is the approximately 700km flight (400 miles) between Sydney (SYD) – Melbourne (MEL), which brought in $1.2 billion for the period, up 97% on the first six months of 2019, despite being down on passenger numbers (-11%) as well as capacity (-7%).
London’s Heathrow (LHR) to New York’s JFK is another profitable seam to plough for carriers, coming in second in the list for revenue ($1,15 billion) which represents growth of 37% since 2019. Again though, passenger numbers (-12%) and capacity (- 4%) were down.
Third for revenue figures is another short haul domestic route: Riyadh (RUH) – Jeddah (JED). Capacity (-4%) and passenger numbers (+1%) changes are negligible, though this high-revenue route has grown +181% since 2019.
However, taking the biscuit for revenue growth is Dubai (DXB) – Riyadh (RUH), which raked in just under a billion dollars in revenue ($990,270,145) during the first half of 2023, putting the route’s revenue growth at a monumental +416% in four years. Capacity and passenger numbers on the route are both up too, by around a third. The route’s strong business travel segment is argued to be driving its success.
Singapore (SIN) –Sydney (SYD) at 211%, and another Australian dominated flightpath, Perth (PER) – Melbourne (MEL) at 209% growth, rank second and third respectively in the revenue increase stakes.
China slower to recover
While Chinese domestic routes, like domestic routes elsewhere, are demonstrating strong growth, China’s international game is still comparatively slow to recover for raw revenue (-57% for the full year in 2023 compared to 2019) as well as for capacity.
OAG explains that poor flight frequency and aircraft type are limiting factors here. On the plus side for Chinese airlines, they took a greater share (72%) of international flights, up 2% on last year.