A British Airways-operated route from London Heathrow Airport to New York’s John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport has been revealed to be the most lucrative route in the world, generating revenues of over $1bn in the past year.
The finding was published in a report by aviation market expert OAG, which ranked the top ten most lucrative air travel routes in the world between April 2017 and March 2018.
The study revealed that the Heathrow-JFK route generates about $24,639 per hour. This, however, is only the second highest hourly grossing, as an Emirates flight from London Heathrow to Dubai International, which is ranked third in the report, brings in $25,308 per hour.
Heathrow ranked as one of the most strategic hubs in the world, with five of the top ten revenue-generating routes departing from or arriving in the UK airport, which, thanks to the planned expansion, is set to create even further opportunities.
According to OAG, the top ten most lucrative routes are also particularly expensive to run. However, the money spent on operating them is made back through the frequency of flights carried out each day. The air route connecting Melbourne to Sydney, for example, generates over $800,000 per year with about 65 flights a day.
These routes are particularly popular business connections and often accept late bookings, which helps to cover running costs and leads to a continuous increase in profits.
Two flights operated by Singapore Airlines made it to the top ten. The highest grossing route departs from London Heathrow and the second from Sydney, which together generate $37,778 in revenue, almost $10,000 more than first-placed British Airways’ earnings per hour.
United Airlines had the highest number of scheduled hours at 56,693, with the most popular route being San Francisco to Newark.
OAG said that the popularity of these routes is directly proportional to the popularity of the airlines operating them and therefore to the revenues they generate.