London to New York air route retains intercontinental top spot

The air link between London and New York continues to be the busiest intercontinental route in the world, according to figures released April 11.

BAA, the company responsible for operating London Heathrow airport, said that 3.6 million passengers flew from Heathrow to New York over the past year, helping the route retain its crown.

The firm's figures shows that at peak times, services between the two cities in March 2011 ran as frequently as a bus service, with departures every 15 minutes - on average in March 2011, there was one departure an hour between Heathrow and New York.

At the end of last month, British Airways and American Airlines launched a new "London Express" service which offers 15 flights daily between the two cities.

Although today's figures suggest that the link between the two cities hasn't lost any of its magic for travelers, in terms of people, the "Ny-Lon" route is small fry, despite the fact that Heathrow is one of the world's busiest airports.

Data provided by aviation analyst OAG Aviation suggests that the world's busiest routes overall (i.e., not just across more than one continent) tend to be national routes covering far shorter distances - such as the 90 minute hop between Tokyo Haneda and Sapporo, currently the world's busiest air route.

This month's flights between the two cities will offer over a million seats, according to OAG's figures, slightly more than the next busiest route between Seoul Gimpo and Juju in Korea - which has flights adding up to just over 900,000 seats scheduled between them.

By contrast, OAG calculates that flights between London and New York this month will offer a little over 300,000 seats (considerably more than the same month last year, incidentally) - meaning that on a global level, the route is in fact the 75th and 76th busiest (from New York to London and vice-versa).

The good news for NyLon is that it doesn't seem likely to lose its crown any time soon as the second busiest route between two continents is between Cairo, Egypt and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (ranked at 132nd and 133rd place), with approximately 158,000 seats between them this month.

The world's busiest air routes - April 2011

1    Sapporo (Chitose) Japan - Tokyo (Haneda) Japan
2    Tokyo (Haneda) Japan - Sapporo (Chitose) Japan
3    Seoul (Gimpo Intl) Rep. of Korea - Jeju (Intl) Rep. of Korea
4    Jeju (Intl) Rep. of Korea - Seoul (Gimpo Intl) Rep. of Korea
5    Tokyo (Haneda) Japan - Fukuoka Japan
6    Fukuoka Japan - Tokyo (Haneda) Japan
7    Melbourne (Intl) Australia - Sydney (Intl) Australia
8    Sydney (Intl) Australia - Melbourne (Intl) Australia
9    Taipei (Taoyuan Intl) Chinese Taipei - Hong Kong (Intl) China
10   Hong Kong (Intl) China - Taipei (Taoyuan Intl) Chinese Taipei

Data provided by OAG Aviation - http://www.oagaviation.com

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