Revealed: Busiest air routes from Dubai

Dubai commands a lion’s share of the regional aviation market as seven out of top 10 busiest international routes from the Middle East and Africa region are directly inked with Dubai International (DXB).

The busiest routes that are connected with Dubai are Kuwait, Muscat, Bahrain, Riyadh, Mumbai, Jeddah and Delhi.


Of those seven cities, there are approximately 22,258 between Dubai and the two Indian cities while 62,878 flights are operated between DXB and the other five GCC cities in a year, aviation-data firm OAG said in its latest study.

Dubai’s leading position is credited to its two strong carriers’ connectivity with other cities around the world. Emirates and flydubai make up a large chunck of traffic from the Dubai International airport, which handled 89.14 million passengers last year, an increase of one per cent. DXB retained its position as world’s number one international airport for the fifth consecutive year in 2018.

In February, Dubai Airports announced plans to elevate the airport customer experience as it unveiled a new brand for DXB that signifies Dubai Airports’ transition from airport operator to a consumer led company, committed to making the world’s busiest international airport, the world’s best.

“In Dubai, we continuously strive to be at the forefront of the industry globally and to lead the way with unwavering ambition, innovation and timely investment,” Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, had said.

According to aviation-data firm OAG, Dubai-Kuwait was the world’s 10th busiest route as well with 14,581 flights per annum, averaging 40 flights a day between the two cities.

Data revealed that the top 10 busiest long-haul routes in the Middle East and Africa are typically longer than in other regions of the world, with the longest route being Johannesburg-London at 9,076km. The average length of the top 10 busiest long-haul routes is just under 6,000km.

OAG revealed that around 15 of the top 20 busiest international routes are in Asia-Pacific, with a cluster around the Asian hub airports of Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. The busiest international route in the world is Kuala Lumpur-Singapore with over 30,000 flights in the course of a year, operated by eight carriers with an average of 82 flights per day.

Interestingly, the world’s busiest route of Kuala Lumpur-Singapore is one of the shortest at just 296km. “With a flight time of just over an hour, passengers can choose between 41 different flights every day, and eight different airlines. Most of these operate on narrow body aircraft, but occasionally you’ll find an A330 or even an A350 operating on this high frequency city pair. Perhaps not what the manufacturer intended them for,” OAG said in its latest report.

In Europe, four of the top 10 busiest international routes originate or depart from – as expected – London’s Heathrow Airport. Six of the top 10 busiest long-haul routes operate between Europe and the US.

Among the domestic routes, the busiest domestic route in the world, by a large margin, operates between Jeju and Seoul Gimpo.


With nearly 80,000 annual flights, this high frequency service is operated by seven carriers who between them provide over 200 daily services.