• Hong Kong to Taipei Taoyuan is currently the busiest international route, with 426,170 seats offered in August by six airlines.
  • Cairo to Jeddah and Kuala Lumpur to Singapore Changi take second and third place, respectively, with over 400,000 seats available.
  • Singapore Changi International is the only airport featured three times in the top ten, offering 1.07 million seats to various international destinations.

The data is in, and as reported by OAG, the busiest international route on the planet is currently held by many carriers operating between Hong Kong and Taipei.

In August, 426,170 seats were offered with six different airlines, shuttling travelers between Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), on the island of Chep Lap Kok, and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE).

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Six airlines to choose from

The list of airlines operating the route is Cathay Pacific (CX), China Airlines (CI), Eva Air (BR), Greater Bay Airlines (HB), Hong Kong Airlines (HX), and Hong Kong Express (UO). All with various aircraft types in service, with a popular choice being the Airbus A330 variant.

Photo: Phuong D. Nguyen / Shutterstock

Flight time between the two cities is brief, with an average flight duration of around two hours. Cargo services are also prevalent between Hong Kong and Taipei, with nine freight liners operating across the South China Sea.

2nd and 3rd place

Second place went to the Middle Eastern connection between Cairo International Airport (CAI) and Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED), with 415,639 seats available in August. This connection was in first place for July but it has now slipped back to second.

Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN) and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) rounded off the top three and the last of the city pairs reaching numbers over 400,000; the South Asian connection currently offers 408,316 seats this month, covering 350km (217 miles) distance.

Photo: Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock 

Out of the top ten most popular city pairs, seven of these departed and arrived in Asia.

Find more news about Asian aviation here

Looking outside of Asia

New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to London Heathrow International Airport (LHR) represented the only service for Europe and North America and the only connection that crossed two continents. 358,900 seats in August were ripe for picking this month, currently served by American Airlines (AA), British Airways (BA), Delta Air Lines (DL), JetBlue (B6), and Virgin Atlantic (VS).

Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330-300 | G-VKSS
Photo: Bradley Caslin/Shutterstock

Rounding out the top ten

Representing more than 3.6 million seats in the sky this August the top ten international connections worldwide this month are:

City Pairs

Seats available

Hong Kong to Taipei Taoyuan


Cairo to Jeddah


Kuala Lumpur to Singapore Changi


Seoul Incheon to Tokyo Narita


Seoul Incheon to Osaka Kansai


Jakarta to Singapore Changi


New York JFK to London Heathrow


Dubai International to Riyadh


Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Singapore Changi


Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Hong Kong


Singapore's famous Changi International (SIN) was the only airport in the list to feature three times and represents 1.07 million seats available, heading to some of the world's key international hubs.

Have you traveled on one of the world's busiest international routes recently?

Sources: OAG

  • Asia Pacific Airlines, 2020 Loss, COVID-19
    Hong Kong International Airport
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    China (Special Administrative Region)
    Fred Lam
    Passenger Count :
    1,196,000 (2021)
    Runways :
    07R/25L - 3,800m (12,467ft) |07L/25R - 3,800m (12,467ft)
    Terminal 1 |Terminal 2