New York-London, Melbourne-Sydney top global airline revenue list

July 04, 2018
New York London billion dollar route

New York-London, Melbourne-Sydney and London-Dubai have topped the list of the world’s most lucrative routes in terms of airline revenue.

An analysis by flight schedule experts  OAG shows British Airways’ John F. Kennedy- London Heathrow route is the world’s only billion-dollar route raking in $US1.04 billion for the UK carrier between April 2017 and March 2018.

That accounted for about 6 percent of BA’s total revenue and equated to $US24,639 an hour.

“Incredibly, five of the top ten revenue earners are either to or from London Heathrow which may explain the ongoing debate about the third runway with the increased competition damaging those lucrative earners.,’’ OAG’s John Grant said.

READ UK MPs in overwhelming vote for third Heathrow runway.

Qantas came in second with its high-frequency Melbourne-Sydney operation, one of the busiest routes in the world, and was one of four domestic routes in the top 10.

The airline earned $US854.7 million on the route, according to the analysis, or $US24,237 an hour.

Not far behind was Emirates with $819.4m on London Heathrow-Dubai. This produced the highest hourly revenue of any airline in the top 10 at $US25,308.


Emirates was followed by Singapore Airlines with revenue of $US709.7 million on London Heathrow-Singapore.

The Singaporean carrier also held 10th position with Sydney-Singapore ($US543.7m).

Surprisingly, US carriers don’t make the list until the fifth and sixth spots.

American Airlines raked in $US698m on its Los Angeles-JFK route and United $US687.7m on San Francisco-Newark.

Other airlines to make the list were Cathay Pacific ($US631.8m on Hong Kong-London Heathrow), Qatar Airways ($US552.6m on London Heathrow-Doha) and Air Canada ($US552.2m on Vancouver-Toronto).

“All of the Top 10 routes are also high-cost operations, combining generally wide-bodied services with high frequency, in the case of MEL – SYD with Qantas operating around 65 flights a day on just that one route,” Grant said. “Typically, these routes also include a high proportion of business traffic, later booking and higher yielding in nature.

“Whilst the cost of operating may be high, at least the revenues are likely to be even higher.”