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Top 10 international city pairs highlight aviation's changing face

Premium Analysis

There would be no prizes for guessing that the biggest international aviation city pair by available seat kilometres (ASKs) is New York to London – because it is not.

A year ago (the week commencing 23-Sep-2019), the list of the world's top 10 international city pairs had a familiar look to it. Almost all of the cities from that list are home to major hub airports and at least one leading global airline. New York-London was then at number one in the ranking, with 38% more ASKs than number two ranked Dubai-London. Both have tumbled from their perch.

The top 10 international city pairs are now distributed more widely, bringing in cities not historically regarded as world-leading aviation hubs, with two leisure routes topping the list.

The biggest now (week commencing 21-Sep-2020) is Moscow-Antalya. It ranked 49th a year ago and has only 35% of the ASKs that New York-London had then. At number two is Paris to the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean.

The COVID-19 crisis is not only shrinking the face of aviation. It is also changing its once familiar features.

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