No British air route features among the 50 busiest worldwide for flight frequency last year – but tiny Belize makes the list three times.
The link from Belize City, to Dangriga, 40 miles south, is 17th in the list.
Belize, the Central American nation formerly known as British Honduras, is barely bigger than Wales, but has challenging terrain, poor road links and no passenger railways.
Belize City to Placencia, further south, is in 33rd place. In 48th is a link to San Pedro, the town on Ambergris Cay.
The Routesonline table is dominated by South Korea – and in particular Seoul’s Gimpo airport, close to the centre of the capital.
In first place is the link from Seoul to Jeju island, with 85,880 flights – corresponding to 235 per day. Capacity between the airports was almost 17.1 million seats, down by just 1.9 per cent on the figure in 2019.
The top route had more than twice as many flights as the link from Seoul Gimpo to the southern city of Busan, with 34,897.
The other three routes with more than 30,000 flights in the year are Jeddah to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia (32,405) and links from Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka (32,400) and Sapporo (31, 395).
Melbourne to Sydney and Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and Mumbai to Delhi all dropped out of the top five. The link between Australia’s two biggest cities has fallen from third to 19th, below Belize, as travel restrictions dampened demand.
All but one of the top 50 routes by flight frequency are domestic.
The exception was the 20-mile hop between the adjacent Caribbean islands of St-Barthelemy and St-Martin.
Routesonline reports that among the top 400 links worldwide only six others were international – led by Orlando to San Juan in Puerto Rico, Bonaire to Curacao in the Dutch Antilles, Houston to Mexico City and Cairo to Jeddah.
David Casey of Routesonline said: “In a year characterised by border restrictions and divergent entry requirements, it is unsurprising that the list of busiest routes in 2021 is dominated by domestic services.”
London Heathrow, previously among the top four European airports for flight frequency, has slipped to sixth – overtaken by Madrid and Istanbul.
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