Just how much are airlines raking in from their most lucrative routes? The Official Airline Guide (OAG) recently revealed the top 10 routes in the world when it comes to revenue generation.
So which route makes the most money? A British Airways route between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and London Heathrow Airport came out on top. This one route generates a staggering $1.04 billion for the airline.
In fact, British Airways earns $24,237 for every hour this flight operates. The route accounted for a full 5 percent of revenue for the airline in 2017.
There is no denying that London is a top-earning hub for airlines right now. Five of the routes that made OAG’s list were either to or from London Heathrow. This news will undoubtedly help to boost the argument for building a third runway at the popular airport.
The rest of the routes on the list of the top 10 revenue-earning flights represent journeys between several different corners of the globe. A Qantas Airways route between Melbourne and Sydney came in at second place. That route generates $855 million for Qantas. Third place belongs to an Emirates route connecting London to Dubai. That route generates $819 million.
What some people might find surprising about the top-earning routes is that the United States is pretty underrepresented. Only a flight between Los Angeles and New York earning $698 million managed to break into the top five. It turns out that none of the routes offered by big players on the global scene like Delta and Virgin were able to make it into the top 10. Here’s a look at the full list of the top 10 revenue-generating airline routes in the world:
- New York (JFK) to London Heathrow (LHR) from British Airways ($1.04 billion)
- Melbourne (MEL) to Sydney (SYD) from Qantas Airways ($855 million)
- London Heathrow (LHR) to Dubai (DXB) from Emirates ($819 million)
- London Heathrow (LHR) to Singapore (SIN) from Singapore Airlines ($710 million)
- Los Angeles (LAX) to New York (JFK) from American Airlines ($698 million)
- San Francisco (SFO) to Newark (EWR) from United Airlines ($688 million)
- Hong Kong (HKG) to London Heathrow (LHR) from Cathay Pacific Airways ($632 million)
- London Heathrow (LHR) to Doha (DOH) from Qatar Airways ($553 million)
- Vancouver (YVR) to Toronto Pearson (YYZ) from Air Canada ($552 million)
- Sydney (SYD) to Singapore (SYN) from Singapore Airlines ($544 million)
There is one very important thing that all of the routes that made the top 10 have in common. All of the high-earning routes in the world also cost a lot to operate. Popular routes that bring passengers between major hubs require wide-bodied aircraft. These can be pricey to fuel and maintain. In addition, the frequency of some of these routes also creates high operational costs for airlines. OAG’s findings are based on revenue records from April of 2017 to March of 2018.
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