These Are the Most Profitable Airline Routes in the World

Running an air carrier is kind of like running Arby’s.

Which is to say, every airline has its roast beef sandwich – a golden route that keeps business financially afloat while the vast majority of everything else on offer is merely charity for finicky customers.

“For every airline there is a small selection of lucrative routes where either competitive advantage, market circumstances or limited competition make for very attractive revenues,” says John Grant of the aviation analysis firm OAG. His company is privy to the data behind air travel and recently revealed the 10 most profitable airline routes for the 12-month period from April 2018 to March 2019.

Raking in the most money is British Airways’ non-stop journey from London (Heathrow) to New York City (JFK). The route’s annual revenue is an astounding $1.16 billion USD, $27,159 per hour of flight. The reason: more than 30% of seats on the route are in First or Business Class cabins.

The second-most lucrative route is Qantas Airways’ domestic haul between Melbourne and Sydney ($861 million in revenue; $23,773 per hour of flight). In third place is Emirates Airlines’ Dubai – London (Heathrow) trip ($796 million in revenue; $24,926 per hour of flight).

One Canadian airline snuck into the top 10: Air Canada’s cross-country route between Vancouver and Toronto earned the company $541 million in revenue. Not bad, but almost $80 million less than the year before.

Here are the most profitable airline routes in the world: