Thousands of planes fly over our cities, towns and landscapes on air routes or in the air. We explain to you which are the most important and most transited in the world!

What is an air route?

Air routes are designated in the air space. It is for the aircrafts that are circulating and includes a protection area and the nominal route. This virtual route goes from point A (where the aircraft leaves) to point B (where it finally lands), and is not only on the long side but also on the short side, organized as “flight level”.

These virtual drawings are named according to a set of laws and numbers. For example, the route connecting “Las Palmas de Gran Canaria” with Vítebsk (Bielorussia) is called UN858.

The airways, however, are not distributed in parallel, but contain intersections where two or more of them are created. The rights of passage, the “slots”, regulate traffic at these intersections and prevent two or more planes from colliding at them at the same time and at the same altitude. The awarding of the best time slots in the world’s busiest airports is one of the objectives most often achieved by airlines. After all, no one ever lands their passengers in the desert at ungodly hours.


Busiest air routes

In 2019, a total of 4.3 billion passengers were recorded worldwide, with a peak on 25 July of 230,000 flights in just one day.

Although you might think that the busiest route is one that connects major capitals such as Paris, New York or London, this is not the case. The domestic route connecting South Korea’s capital, Seoul, with the city of Jeju, travelled by an average of 178 aircraft a day, is the busiest route in the world.


On the international scene, these are the 5 busiest routes in the world in terms of flights per year:

  1. Kuala Lumpur – Singapore: with a total of 30,187 flights.
  2. Hong Kong – Taipei: with almost 28,500 flights.
  3. Jakarta – Singapore: reaching 27,000 flights per year

4. Hong Kong – Shanghai: with a total of 20,000 flights

  1. Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur: close to 20,000 flights per year.


Air routes in Spain

In Spain, as you can imagine, one of the busiest routes is the one between Barcelona and Madrid, with 23,000 flights a year. In fact, it is these same two cities that have the most routes from or to Spain to any part of the world.

However, the United Kingdom is the country that brings most flights and passengers from Europe to Spain, with a total of 43,863 passengers in 2018.

If you need information about air routes you can access the page of the air traffic manager in Spain Enaire.  You will find all the information about Spanish airports on the Aena website.


You may be interested!

There are many curiosities about the airports of the world. We invite you to read about the most spectacular runways, such as the one in the Maldives airport by the sea, if you want to know more about this exciting world.

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