Special Report

The Most Popular International Flights

Have you ever wondered how many planes are in the air at a given moment? In 2017, airline companies around the world operated 36.8 million flights. They carried 4.1 billion passengers, according to the International Air Transport Association.

At any time, an average of 9,728 airplanes — carrying over 1 million people — were in the sky, according to FlightAware, an aviation data company. Some have an outstanding on-time record.

Of the 20 busiest international airline routes, 15 are in the Asia-Pacific region. Of the top 100 busiest routes based on passenger load, Asia-Pacific flights make up more than 70%, according to RoutesOnline, a UK-based aviation network.

To list the 20 most popular international flights in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the 2019 OAG Busiest Routes report. The busiest routes are ranked by number of flights for the period between March 2018 and February 2019. Routes are defined as flight paths between specific airports, not cities, so for large cities with multiple airports, only one airport is given in the route. The OAG excluded flights from carries that operate less than 500 flights a year, on any route. Some additional information comes from RoutesOnline, a UK-based aviation network.

Click here to read about the most popular international flights.