Dubai to Heathrow is now the world’s top international market; it wasn’t in the Top-10 last winter, points out anna•aero, the airline industry analytical news publication. But it, along with other changes in the Top 10 illustrate the change in flow of traffic during the “off season” for international air traffic. (The peak travel season is designated with an S prefix; S 21 begins at the end of March and concludes at the end of October.) So, the major changes to the Top10 list are just temporary. This includes total seats, down as they now are by 11 million to just over six million.
With the above as a preface, or sorts, following are some other notable changes in the international airline route map as we experience the peak of the off season.
—The Dubai to Heathrow connection has pushed the previous top—Hong Kong to Taipei–off the top spot, and it is no longer on this winter’s Top 10 list.
—In fact, there is now only one within Asia-Pacific – Seoul Incheon to Tokyo Narita – down from seven a year before.
—Seven markets now involve the Middle East. This includes the only one to feature in both lists: Cairo to Jeddah. This is now the world’s second-largest, despite seat capacity being down by 43 percent year-on-year.
—If Puerto Rico were a sovereign state, Orlando to San Juan would instead be the world’s second-biggest. In the week used to calculate the list below, it had 90 weekly flights each way across four carriers.
Some key markets just outside the top-10 include: Dallas Fort Worth to Cancún, New York JFK to Santo Domingo, and Los Angeles to Guadalajara. There are presently 59 weekly flights from Los Angeles to Guadalajara.
Note: One can study or analyze the data above and, over the years, realize that it is not just winter vacation travel or, in the case of the past and future year, that traditional non-peak-season traffic is not taking place due to the global pandemic. However, one will also notice that it is not just traditional European or North American connections providing service to non-western global markets. The Middle East, for instance, has become a major connecting region for international air traffic with airports that didn’t exist a generation ago.