Kuala Lumpur-Singapore is world’s busiest international flight route in 2023: Travel data report

Two of the most popular tourism destinations in Asia — Singapore and Kuala Lumpur — also have the world’s busiest flight route between them. A new report published by OAG, a leading data platform for the global travel industry, says: “2023’s busiest international airline route is Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Singapore Changi (SIN) with 4.9 million seats.”

Kuala Lumpur and Singapore
Festive looks for the Christmas-New Year season in Kuala Lumpur (left) and Singapore (right). Photo courtesy: Instagram/ visit_singapore and amazing_kualalumpur

The report has a number of data sets, showing aviation statistics on domestic and international routes around the world. A media release from OAG says that the data analysis is “powered by OAG’s Global Airline Schedules Data”.

Summarising the findings, OAG says: “Once again, Asia-Pacific has the busiest routes in the world, claiming 7 of the Top 10 global international and 9 global domestic routes.”

It adds: “The busiest global international route is Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Singapore Changi (SIN) with 4.9 million seats. Cairo (CAI) to Jeddah (JED) is #2 with 4.8 million seats, up from 3.4 million in 2019.”

The next three positions for 2023 in this category are, in that order: Hong Kong (HKG) to Taipei (TPE) at #3 with 4.6 million seats; Seoul Incheon (ICN) to Osaka Kansai (KIX) at #4 with 4.2 million seats; and Seoul Incheon to Tokyo Narita (NRT) at #5 with 4.15 million seats.

Changi International Airport in Singapore is featured twice more in the Top 10 of the world’s busiest flight routes, as compiled by OAG. Jakarta (CGK) to Singapore Changi is at #7 with 3.9 million seats; and Bangkok (BKK) to Singapore Changi is at #9 with nearly 3.5 million seats.

Flight routes between the Middle Eastern economic hubs of Dubai and Riyadh; the world cities of London and New York City; and the Asian capitals of Bangkok and Seoul took the rest of the three spots on the Top 10 chart.

The busiest airports in the world in terms of passenger traffic have retained their lead this year. The OAG report says: “London Heathrow (LHR) is the #4 Busiest Global Airport in the world this year with 49,370,859 seats. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) ranks #1 and Dubai International Airport (DXB) ranks #2.”

Analysing the dominance of flight routes in Asia, John Grant, chief analyst at OAG, says, “Asia continues to have the busiest routes in the world due to its popularity as a tourism hotspot. Although capacity is not back to 2019 levels, London Heathrow remains a pivotal hub for global air travel.”