Jun 10, 2013

Amadeus confirms that Asia has the world’s highest number of top air routes

According to the latest Amadeus’ survey, Asia dominated again air transport last year. Although all regions in the world recorded a growth, air travel in Asia jumped significantly by 9% followed by Latin America up by 6% while the Pacific area and Europe came both at 4%. Last year, Asia recorded some 787 million of passengers, distancing Europe by over 100 million passengers (Europe recorded 680 million air travellers in 2012).  

Analysis from Amadeus Air Traffic Travel Intelligence reveals that Asia is the largest, fastest-growing and most competitive market for air travel. 75% of air routes in Asia are served by three or more airlines and just 25% of routes by one or two carriers.

However, the market share of Low Cost Carriers is still lower than in Europe or America. Europe has the highest concentration of LCC traffic, representing 38% of total air travel in 2012. But Europe is now closely tracked by “South West Pacific” (Australasia and the Pacific Rim) with a LCC penetration of 37% followed by North America with 30%. By comparison, LCC share in Asia remains at modest levels, at only 19% in 2012.

Among other key findings, the study reveals that 22% of all global air travel is concentrated on just 300 origin and destination ‘super routes ’, each of which carries over 1 million passengers annually. Furthermore, 69% of all global air travel is made on major routes with 100 thousand annual passengers.

Analysis of the busiest routes in the world by passenger volume shows that seven out of the top ten world’s busiest air travel routes are in AsiaJeju-Seoul in South Korea remains the world’s busiest air route, and many of 2011’s top origin and destination (O&D) routes return to the league table for 2012, however, there has been some change: in particular, Beijing-Shanghai has risen from seventh-busiest route in the world in 2011, to fourth-busiest in 2012. Sapporo-Tokyo has overtaken Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo to second-busiest route ranking, and Okinawa-Tokyo has entered the top ten table, as ninth-busiest route in the world.

Looking at connections, the preeminence of the Middle East is confirmed by Amadeus analysis: the Middle East is turning into a strong performer, with the three key airports of Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai all showing high connecting traffic volumes. For instance, when taken as a group the three airports now serve roughly 15% of all air traffic volume that goes from Asia to Europe and from Europe to the South West Pacific. Furthermore, Europe-Asia traffic routed via the Middle East is growing at roughly 20% per annum.

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