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British Airways

British Airways Has the World’s Only Billion-Dollar Airline Route

British Airways Has the World’s Only Billion-Dollar Airline Route
Joe Cortez

The world’s top route by revenue doesn’t fly through the Middle East, nor does it involve an American carrier. Rather, the world’s most profitable airport is London Heathrow Airport. The major international hub is involved in five of the highest grossing routes on the globe.

The world’s highest-grossing route belongs to the United Kingdom, as their airline and airport bring in over $1 billion in revenue on a single route over 12 months. An analysis by OAG discovered British Airways operates the only billion-dollar route in the world, flying from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

The flight status database company analyzed revenue data between April 2017 and March 2018, using information from flight schedules and passenger traffic. Using both metrics, the firm discovered the British Airways one-way flight was the most profitable – and the only one to break the $1 billion mark. Operating a total of 42,117 hours during the 12-month period, the flight earned $24,639 for every operating hour.

Furthermore, LHR may be the world’s most profitable airport for international airlines. Half of the top 10 revenue routes either originated from or ended at London’s busiest terminal. A total of five airlines flying through LHR were on the list, with a combined total of over $3.7 billion in revenue.

The world’s second-most profitable route was also one of the shortest on the list. Flying just over 400 miles, the route from Melbourne Airport (MEL) to Sydney Airport (SYD) brought in $854.7 million for Qantas Airways over the 12 months period. Emirates operated the third most profitable route, earning $819.4 million flying from LHR to Dubai International Airport (DXB).

In the United States, American Airlines operation between Los Angeles International Airport and JFK was the most profitable domestic route. Using a specially-configured Airbus A321T for the route, American pulled in $698.1 million flying from coast to coast. United Airlines had the second most profitable domestic route, earning $687.7 million flying from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

View Comments (2)


  1. Rikki3072

    July 10, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Gross revenue does not mean the same thing as profit. It just means the total amount of money generated for that company, activity or, in this case, route. You would have to deduct the expenses from the gross revenue to get the profit, or net income. BA could be losing money on the LHR-JFK route if the expenses exceed the revenue.

  2. BThumme

    July 11, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Good to see the fuel surcharges helping inflate those numbers

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