A round-up of the most popular flight routes by passenger volume this month.
Despite rising airfares and numerous cancelations and delays that have wreaked havoc on the air travel industry in the United States, Americans are still booking domestic flights. According to the US Travel Association, air passenger volume has continued to improve steadily since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and was only 5% below 2019 levels this past October.
Let’s take a look at the most popular non-stop domestic routes by passenger volume.
- Las Vegas (LAS)- Los Angeles (LAX): 322,225 seats. This 236-mile route has become the busiest domestic route in the United States. There are approximately 352 flights between the two airports each week. Some of the airlines providing service on this route include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.
- Honolulu (HNL)- Kahului (OGG): 298,465 seats. This 100-mile, 37-minute route between the islands of Oahu and Maui in the state of Hawaii is the second-busiest domestic route in terms of seat capacity. There are approximately 354 flights per week between these two airports. The primary carriers operating on this route are Hawaiian Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Demand comes from both local air passenger traffic as residents commute between islands for employment as well as leisure travelers.
Atlanta (ATL)- Orlando (MCO): 284,279 seats. This link between the busiest airport in the United States, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and the busiest airport in Florida is about 405 miles with a flight time of roughly 90 minutes. There are about 272 flights between the two locations each week. All major U.S.-based airlines provide service on this route, including lower-cost carriers Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines.
- New York (JFK)- Los Angeles (LAX): 260,167 seats. This 2,470-mile route between the west and east coasts of the United States connects two of the United States’ largest cities. The primary carriers servicing this route are American Airlines, JetBlue, and Delta Airlines, but there are many other airline options as well.
- Denver (DEN)- Las Vegas (LAS): 255,089 seats. This 628-mile link between Colorado and Nevada is quite popular, with about 317 flights between the two airports per week. United Airlines and Southwest Airlines provide the most scheduled flights on this route.
Atlanta (ATL)- Fort Lauderdale (FLL): 254,396 seats. This 582-mile route between the states of Georgia and Florida is served by many domestic airlines, though Fort Lauderdale is the primary South Florida airport for Southwest Airlines. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is also a secondary airport for travelers en route to Miami.
As travelers’ needs and preferences change due to seasonal and other factors, the rankings of the busiest routes evolve as well. At the beginning of January, the Honolulu-Kahului route was the busiest, but a surge in demand from the last month propelled the Las Vegas – Los Angeles route to the top spot. The Denver – Las Vegas route also saw an increase in volume that resulted in a jump up two spots in the rankings since last month.