Discover the latest airline traffic figures. We’ve analyzed global traffic streams and present the world’s busiest airline routes in September — International, domestic, and regional.

Airline Traffic in September — Here Are The World's Busiest Routes!

Based on the latest OAG data, we’ve analyzed the world’s airline traffic and present the busiest airline routes in September 2021. Additionally, we provide information about changes compared to last month’s ranking. Here’s an overview of what you will find on this blog post:

World’s Busiest Domestic Routes

Compared to the last ranking the busiest airline routes haven’t changed significantly. Actually, nine out of ten routes remain in the top 10. The Latin American route Cancun-Mexico City is no longer part of the top 10 and replaced by another Chines route (Chengdu – Beijing).

Moreover, and also similar to previous rankings, Asian routes make up the biggest part of the ranking. In fact, Jedda-Riyadh is the only “non-Asian route” in the top busiest airline traffic routes. From a capacity point of view, there’s no clear trend since some routes declined in terms of capacity but other increased seats.

RankRoutingAirportAirportCountryCapacityTrend
1 (1)CJU-GMPJejuSeoul1.4M
2 (3)PEK-SHABeijingShanghai Hongqiao755K
3 (2)CTS-HNDSapporoTokyo Haneda678K
4 (5)GMP-PUSSeoulBusan603K
5 (9)CAN-SHAGuangzhouShanghai Hongqiao602K
6 (4)FUK-HNDFukuokaTokyo Haneda594K
7 (10)SHA-SZXShanghai HongqiaoShenzhen584K
8 (8)JED-RUHJeddahRiyadh561K
9 (7)HND-OKATokyo HanedaOkinawa462K
10 (-)CTU-PEKChengduBeijing438K
Top 10 Busiest Domestic Routes – September 2021
Airline Traffic: World's busiest airline routes — Jeju Airport
Jeju Airport in South Korea (By 螺钉 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Busiest Chinese Domestic Routes

Besides the world’s busiest airline routes, we also took a specific look at China. As shown in one of our recent blog posts, China is one of the rare airline markets that record traffic figures similar to pre-COVID times. Unsurprisingly, China’s big metropolitan areas, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, or Guangzhou, play the most crucial role in domestic traffic.

Besides that, the list contains no significant changes compared to previous rankings. However, worth mentioning that all routes recorded a capacity increase in September. This is quite contrary compared to other world regions.

RankRoutingAirportAirportCapacityTrend
1 (1)PEK-SHABeijingShanghai Hongqiao755K
2 (2)CAN-SHAGuangzhouShanghai Hongqiao602K
3 (3)SHA-SZXShanghai HongqiaoShenzhen584K
4 (4)CTU-PEKChengduBeijing438K
5 (5)PEK-SZXBeijingShenzhen407K
6 (7)CAN-CTUGuangzhouChengdu346K
7 (8)CAN-HGHGuangzhouHangzhou338K
8 (6)CTU-SZXChengduShenzhen333K
9 (9)CAN-PKXGuangzhouBeijing Daxing323K
10 (-)CAN-PEKGuangzhouBeijing314K
Airline Traffic: Top 10 Busiest Domestic Chinese Routes – September 2021

Airline Traffic: Busiest North American Domestic Routes

When looking at North America’s airline traffic many of the busiest routes remained the same in September. However, it is interesting to see that the capacity of the Denver-Phoenix routes on position three is only 8,000 seats bigger than Denver-Chicago on rank seven. And even the routes on positions eight to ten are quite close to the ones on positions three to seven. Therefore, we will likely see some changes with next month’s ranking.

RankRoutingAirportAirportCapacityTrend
1 (2)JFK-LAXNew YorkLos Angeles244K
2 (3)HNL-OGGHonoluluKahului240K
3 (-)DEN-PHXDenverPhoenix228K
4 (10)LAS-LAXLas VegasLos Angeles223K
5 (4)ATL-MCOAtlantaOrlando222K
6 (1)HNL-LAXHonoluluLos Angeles221K
7 (5)DEN-ORDDenverChicago O’Hare220K
8 (9)LAX-ORDLos AngelesOrlando209K
9 (8)ATL-FLLAtlantaFort Lauderdale208K
10 (-)LAX-SFOLos AngelesSan Francisco204K
Airline Traffic: Top 10 Busiest Domestic U.S. Routes – September 2021

World’s Busiest International Routes

Similar to August, the world’s busiest international remain dominated by flights to/from Simferopol. However, it is arguable whether this should be counted as an international route. Different from the busiest domestic routes, there’s not a single Asian route contained in the list. On the contrary, we have North American, European, African, and Middle East routes.

After London Heathrow re-entered the list in August with the route JFK-LHR, we have also the Dubai-London route back in the top 10.

RankRouteAirportCountryAirportCountryCapacity
1DME-SIPMoscow DomodedovoSimferopol290K
2SIP-SVOSimferopolMoscow Sheremetyevo280K
3AYT-SVOAntalyaMoscow Sheremetyevo236K
4CAI-JEDCairoJeddah197K
5AYT-VKOAntalyaMoscow Vnukovo165K
6MCO-SJUOrlandoSan Juan160K
7JFK-LHRNew YorkLondon Heathrow154K
8DXB-LHRDubaiLondon Heathrow143K
9DEL-DXBDelhiDubai133K
10IKA-ISTTehranIstanbul128K
Airline Traffic: World’s Busiest International Routes – September 2021
World's busiest airline routes — Simferopol Airport
Simferopol Airport — By Капитан Морган – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Spotlight on African International Routes

Egypt’s capital Cairo plays an important role when looking at the top international African routes. Like the last ranking, flights from Cairo to Jeddah, Dubai, and Riyadh rank on positions one to three. Moreover, the route Cairo-Khartoum adds a fourth and Cairo-Kuwait a fifth Cairo-routing to the top 10!

RankRouteAirportCountryAirportCountryCapacity
1CAI-JEDCairoJeddah98K
2CAI-DXBCairoDubai63K
3CAI-RUHCairoRiyadh54K
4ABJ-ACCAbidjanAccra45K
5ADD-DXBAddis AbabaDubai44K
6MJI-TUNTripoliTunis40K
7CAI-KRTCairoKhartoum40K
8CAI-KWICairoKuwait40K
9CMM-ORYCasablancaParis Orly39K
10HRE-LUNHarareLusaka37K
Airline Traffic: Busiest African Routes – September 2021

Spotlight on Asian International Routes

Looking at important Asian international routes, Singapore plays an essential role. As a result, Singapore is part of four of the top 10 routes. Besides that, Chinese airports play an important role and are part of five routings.

RankRouteAirportCountryAirportCountryCapacity
1HKG-TPEHong KongTaipei102K
2BKK-HKGBangkokHong Kong99K
3MNL-SINManilaSingapurSingapore Flag86K
4CGK-SINJakartaSingapurSingapore Flag85K
5BKK-SINBangkokSingapurSingapore Flag78K
6MFM-PVGMacauShanghai Pudong77K
7HKG-PVGHong KongShanghai Pudong72K
8CMB-MLEBandaranaikeMale71K
9DEL-DXBDelhiDubai69K
10HKG-MNLHong KongManila66K
Airline Traffic: Busiest Asian International Routes – September 2021

What’s your Opinion?

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Used Data
The shown information is based on OAG data and internal data sources. Whenever stated, EMEA refers to airlines based in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa.

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