Revealed: Top 10 highest earning airline routes

Dubai airline Emirates’ service to London Heathrow features high on the list



British Airways’s service between London Heathrow and JFK New York has retained its spot as the world’s highest grossing airline route, earning revenues of over $1.15bn in the last year, according to a new report from airline data firm OAG.

It is the only route to break the ‘billion-dollar barrier’ and also reported an increased revenue per hour of some 10 per cent in the 12 months from April 2018 to March 2019.

“With over 30 per cent of BA seats on the route in either first or business class, the importance and the value of the route is clear to see,” the report said.

Ranking high on the list – in the third spot – was Emirates’ service between Dubai and London Heathrow. The route generated over $796m in revenues during the year, with hourly income reaching $24,926.

Overall, the top 10 routes and airlines this year are unchanged compared to the previous year, and together brought in revenues of more than $6bn, the report said.

However, on a revenue per hour basis, nine have seen a reduction suggesting growing levels of competition “both directly from other airlines and indirect routes”.

“The linkage between available capacity and revenue is perhaps best highlighted by five of the top 10 routes operating from Heathrow which in part explains why long-haul airlines rush to fill available slots and existing carriers protect their networks,” said the report.

However, the Singapore – Jakarta service offered by Singapore Airline disproves the theory that “only long-haul flights can generate significant revenues”, the report stated.

The route is the highest revenue producer in the world based on hours flow, generating nearly $39,000 per hour flown.

“Ultimately of course, revenue alone is just a metric and for many of these routes, high frequency wide-bodied services means high operating costs,” said OAG’s John Grant.

“It is equally likely that for each of these airlines, operating profits are amongst the highest on their respective networks.

“Our analysis suggests that there is unlikely to be any great movement either in or out of these tables in the next few years until capacity becomes available and then of course at both ends of the route which for many of these airlines will ensure their status for some time,” he added.

TOP 10 HIGHEST GROSSING AIRLINE ROUTES
(Data from April 2018- March 2019, as revealed by OAG)

1. London Heathrow – New York JFK

Airline: British Airways

Total revenues: $1.159bn

Revenue per hour: $27,159

2. Melbourne – Sydney

Airline: Qantas Airways

Total revenues: $861.2m

Revenue per hour: $23,773

3. Dubai – London Heathrow

Airline: Emirates

Total revenues: $796.2m

Revenue per hour: $24,926

4. Singapore – London Heathrow

Airline: Singapore Airlines

Total revenues: $735.5m

Revenue per hour: $18,771

5. San Francisco-Newark

Airline: United Airlines

Total revenues: $689.3m

Revenue per hour: $12,882

6. LAX – New York JFK

Airline: American Airlines

Total revenues: $661.7m

Revenue per hour: $13,099

7. Doha – London Heathrow

Airline: Qatar Airways

Total revenues: $639.1m

Revenue per hour: $20,415

8. Hong Kong – London Heathrow

Airline: Cathay Pacific Airways

Total revenues: $604.5m

Revenue per hour: $13,887

9. Singapore – Sydney

Airline: Singapore Airlines

Total revenues: $549.7m

Revenue per hour: $20,821

10. Vancouver – Toronto

Airline: Air Canada

Total revenues: $541.1m

Revenue per hour: $11,936