caribb
Posts: 1504
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 1999 6:33 am

Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 4:14 am

Does anyone out there know what the top 10 most profitable routes in the world are? I guess it is impossible to really know but I'd like to hear what you think they may be.
 
AFa340-300E
Posts: 2115
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 3:49 am

CDG-CVG, SFO-LHR

Sun Oct 22, 2000 5:24 am

Hello,

CDG-CVG
As reported in the French business magazine "Management", CDG-CVG is a very popular route and certainly one of the most profitable.

Sabena used to operate this route and had declared BRU-CVG was their transatlantic most profitable route. They had started with an A340-200 but quickly upgraded the route with the 747-300 (their largest aircraft at the time).

SFO-LHR
Some people have reported, in this forum, that is among the most profitable routes for United Airlines and British Airways. IIRC this is one of the routes UAL put the 747-400 at first on Europe.

Best regards,
Alain Mengus
 
Guest

RE: CDG-CVG, SFO-LHR

Sun Oct 22, 2000 7:33 am

I don't know about profitability, but I do know what the top three most flown routes are everyday in terms of passengers (in the U.S.).

1. New York-Orlando
2. New York-Los Angeles
3. New York-San Francisco
 
caribb
Posts: 1504
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 1999 6:33 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 8:38 am

I guess I should give my own 2 cents worth... again I know profitability is hard to define but I could imagine the following;

New York-Los Angeles
New York-Chicago
Chicago-Los Angeles
New York-Miami
London-New York
London-Hong Kong
Tokyo-San Francisco
Tokyo-Hong Kong
Paris-New York
London-Washington DC

If you look at high density routes maybe some of these fall into high profit making services;

Los Angeles - San Francisco
London - Paris
New York - Boston
Sydney - Melbourne
Hong Kong - Taipei
Montreal - Toronto
Rio - Sao Paulo
Frankfurt - Munich
Tokyo - Osaka
New York - Atlanta
Dallas - Chicago
 
BostonBeau
Posts: 480
Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:55 pm

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 8:48 am

I would wonder where the BOS/LGA/DCA shuttles rank, since the fares are kept so high on weekdays.
 
travelin man
Posts: 3198
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 10:04 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 9:24 am

My coworker who helps create airline agreements with large companies has told me that transcontinental LAX-NYC and SFO-NYC are THE most profitable for the major US airlines, given the high number of full fare business travelers. (And trust me, transcon full-fare is VERY high).
 
klwright69
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RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 9:36 am

I know for CO, LAX-IAH and IAH-EWR are money making machines for them given their dominance, frequencies and number of high yield tickets sold on the route.
 
caribb
Posts: 1504
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 1999 6:33 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 9:45 am

If you look at the big US carriers and their main trunkline routes it would seem they must make a ton of money on them.. any route betweem these cities New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, Atlanta, Miami, Detroit, Houston, Washington, Philadelphia and Minneapolis must do well unless competition really destroys their margin... which I doubt since first and business class is probably full or near full most of the time into these key centers. I guess my question then is whether the top 10 most profitable routes includes any outside the continental USA?
 
Guest

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 9:48 am

TPE-HKG is one of the most profitable route.
 
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 9:50 am

Expanding on Klwright69's idea, I would imagine that an airline that dominated a certain airport (NW at MEM, UA at DEN, US at CLT to name a few) would most likely pick up their highest levels of revenue, if not profit, off of routes from those cities. Since they by-and-large own that airport, they can charge as high a rate as they want, because the market will pay that fare. I can't sit here and name certain profitable routes, but I would imagine that heavily traveled shuttle and transcon routes would be among the tops.

Tom in NO (at MSY)

P.S. How you doing, Doug?!
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
caribb
Posts: 1504
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 1999 6:33 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 9:56 am

Hey Tom! Good to hear from ya  .. How's MSY doing these days?

So in the end airlines make most of their money from business and first class full fare fliers.. what brings in the most profit, highest margin and best yields? Long haul (Tokyo-London) or high frequency short haul (Washington DC - New York)

I hear Air Canada makes about 70% of it's revenue from Toronto seeing it is the central hub for it's operations. I'd be curious to know it their profit comes from routes like Toronto-Tokyo or Montreal-Toronto?
 
travelin man
Posts: 3198
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 10:04 am

RE: Tom In NO

Sun Oct 22, 2000 10:22 am

Tom --
I will be making my first journey to New Orleans next weekend (to enjoy Halloween, of course!). Anything I should look for in particular? Anything interesting?

I'll be arriving on United (from DEN) and I'll be leaving on Continental to Newark.
 
Guest

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 10:37 am

One of the most profitable route in Canada (and maybe also the world?) is YUL - YYZ Air Canada have almost 30 flights daily, and some 767 and A330 fly this route !!!

Nicolas Bourbillon
Montreal, Canada
 
Marco
Posts: 4005
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RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 11:50 am

how come so many people fly daily between montreal and toronto? are they all businessmen?
Proud to be an Assyrian!
 
Guest

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 2:08 pm

Yes flights are mostl packed up with businessmans.

Nicolas Bourbillon
Montreal, Canada
 
VirginA340
Posts: 2556
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RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 2:15 pm

Any international destination involving LHR
US domestic would be
LAX-DCA
JFK-LAX
EWR-SFO
DCA-LGA-BOS shuttle service on Delta and US Airways
"FUIMUS"
 
caribb
Posts: 1504
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 1999 6:33 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 10:58 pm

Re: VirginA340: Out of London, i'd say major routes are;
LHR-NRt
LHR-HKG
LHR-SYD
LHR-JNB
LHR-JFK
LHR-EWR
LHR-LAX
LHR-ATL
LHR-DFW
LHR-ORD
LHR-MIA
LHR-SFO
LHR-DEN
LHR-DXB
LHR-DHA
LHR-BGI
LHR-YYZ
LHR-CDG

..and there are probably a few more US cities you could include.. now, of these I wish I knew which were in the global top 10 for making money.. New York for sure and probably Los Angeles and Chicago.
 
SR3496
Posts: 774
Joined: Sat May 06, 2000 8:21 pm

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Sun Oct 22, 2000 11:03 pm

Swissair's most profitable route last year was GVA-JFK, known as the UN-shuttle.
 
Delta15
Posts: 561
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 1999 5:32 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Mon Oct 23, 2000 12:03 am

Deltas most profitable route is richmond to Atlanta. Very expensive, high loads, first class almost always full
 
txagkuwait
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Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Mon Oct 23, 2000 2:11 am

Anecdotal evidence is usually wrong. Thus I tried to go about this business "scientifically".

Using DOT data looked at the yield and # of daily pax on every route in the US.

You could have a yield of, say, 3 bucks a mile.....but if you didn't carry very many pax it would not suggest the route is real profitable.

By the same token you could carry 10,000 passengers a day between two points...but if the yield was a nickel a mile and your costs were a dime per ASM...that wouldn't indicate it being very profitable either.

So what I did was took the (yield per RPM - 10 cents ) times the number of pax per day to give me a profitability index.

That being done, here are the top 20 in the US...

origin destination distance Daily Psgrs Avg Fare Dom Carrier
BOSTON, MA NEW YORK, NY 185 6361 140 DL
NEW YORK, NY WASHINGTON, DC 214 5787 127 DL
CHICAGO, IL NEW YORK, NY 727 7214 222 UA
CHICAGO, IL MINNEAPOLIS, MN 344 2996 188 NW
DALLAS, TX HOUSTON, TX 236 5487 81 WN
LAS VEGAS, NV LOS ANGELES, CA 236 5448 64 WN
CHICAGO, IL DETROIT, MI 233 3732 80 NW
BOSTON, MA WASHINGTON, DC 407 3771 124 US
BOSTON, MA PHILADELPHIA, PA 280 1593 160 US
AUSTIN, TX DALLAS, TX 183 2072 82 WN
ATLANTA, GA NEW YORK, NY 755 6424 159 DL
NEW YORK, NY PITTSBURGH, PA 329 1379 202 US
LOS ANGELES, CA SAN FRANCISCO, CA 337 4853 82 UA
CHICAGO, IL ST. LOUIS, MO 251 2628 86 WN
CLEVELAND, OH NEW YORK, NY 411 1235 241 CO
CHICAGO, IL DALLAS, TX 800 2916 243 AA
ATLANTA, GA WASHINGTON, DC 539 3615 139 DL
PORTLAND, OR SEATTLE, WA 129 654 112 AS
CHICAGO, IL PHILADELPHIA, PA 678 2078 230 UA
BUFFALO, NY NEW YORK, NY 292 1326 137 US
 
philb
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Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Mon Oct 23, 2000 2:20 am

Caribb,

You ommitted three of the most profitable routes for both BA and BD out of LHR to GLA, EDI and MAN. Even with accelerated rail services and cheaper rail fares, these three routes are major slot fillers at Heathrow (and you can take that comment in its Las Vegas or its runway use version - means the same thing!!!)
 
BA
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Mon Oct 23, 2000 2:51 am

According to British Airways, London Gatwick (LGW) - Denver (DEN) is extremely profitable. Now I'm not sure if its in the top 10 but it might be. Flights are always full to capacity and according to airport officials British Airways is getting a extremely good deal for maintenance at the airport. When British Airways started the service to Denver, they used the 777. About 2 years later they switched to the 747-400 to keep up with the demand. Surprisingly, the 747-400 is still not enough to cope with this flight.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
aio86
Posts: 910
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Mon Oct 23, 2000 5:01 am

I didn't get to read all of the posts but I believe that JFK-LHR is a very popular and most likely profitable route. There are 22 non-stops on an average day. They are.
United: 767 x3
American: 777 x2, 767 x2, A-300 x2,
Virgin Atlantic: 747 x 2, A-340 x1
British Airways: 747 x6, Concorde x2 (Once this plane starts flying again, I don't know what they're doing in the meantime)
Air India: 747 x 1
Kuwait Airlines 777 x1
Sorry I don't know which models of 767, 340s and 747s they are. But if the average 767 holds 200 (Since UA and AA have 3 class seating, the average 777 holds 350, A-300 has 200(same as 767, 747 has 400 and Concorde has 100 (Although the flights are almost never full) that means that at full capasity there can be over 3,800 passangers a day, and that is rounding down. I imagine this must be very profitable or else the 6 airlines wouldn't fly them.
Hope this helps,
Aaron
 
caribb
Posts: 1504
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 1999 6:33 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Mon Oct 23, 2000 12:14 pm

PhilB: Thanks for adding them into the list. I'm not sure how short haul high frequency routes compare to long haul low frequency intercontinetal flights, do you? NRT-LHR versus LHR-GLA.. I'm sure BA counts on both to bring in money but which brings in the most in the end. NRT would be a high yielding route I would imagine.. Glasgow too but on a lower fare and shorter distance.

TxAgKuwait: Interesting analysis. Everything is based on the 10 cent yield per RPM. It would be nice to know the actual figure per route. Given the costs of operating an aircraft on a high frequency short haul route I can see why long haul flights are conventionally known to be more profitable.. keep the plane at cruise level where it costs less to operate and charge a high fare thereby making passenger yields higher over a longer distance. In the end though do these routes out perform the volume of say Atlanta-New York?
 
gkirk
Posts: 23347
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2000 3:29 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Tue Oct 24, 2000 12:11 am

Im sure LHR-Australia routes are very profitable. London-New York is very profitable as is UK flights to Newark.
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
airsicknessbag
Posts: 4626
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2000 2:45 am

RE: Cincinnati

Tue Oct 24, 2000 12:20 am

Sure, CVG makes tons of money  - so why are there only 3 destinations (FRA, LGW, CDG) with 5 daily flights, all served by DL or their partner AF. By the way, all with 767 except the LGW service (777).
If CVG was that profitable, I´d expect more airlines, more destinations, more flights, bigger aircraft.
Daniel 
 
Grasshopper
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 7:55 pm

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Tue Oct 24, 2000 5:53 am

Hello, i am new to this board and I am from Zuerich and this seems like an interesting topic.
Hong Kong and Singapore 's have heavy traffic between the the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney. Also the Hong Kong to Vancouver and Toronto in terms of volumne. So are the Tokyo-Honolulu, Hong Kong and Seoul route.
In Zuerich, I think most trans-Atlantic routes recieved high traffic (when I went to Toronto in an AC flight it was full, but I just came back from a SR flight from Boston that I actually can occuapay 2 or even 3 seat in that case) and the Asia routes are doing even better.
But I think Tokyo-Honolulu and Hong are one of the more profitable routes since the price is very high.
 
777gk
Posts: 1488
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2000 3:04 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Tue Oct 24, 2000 6:53 am

Newark-Raleigh/Durham is an extremely profitable route for Continental and Midway, currently the only two airlines operating it.
 
caribb
Posts: 1504
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 1999 6:33 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Tue Oct 24, 2000 8:37 am

I suppose competition can really cut into profits. Look at Montreal-Barbados: Only flown by Air Canada and no charter airlines.. high airfare year round with a very low frequency.. the same route from Toronto can be as low as flying to Florida.. There are also numerous charters from the Toronto region. Even though more people go to Bridgetown from Toronto than Montreal it remains questionable if it is as profitable for the airlines.

On a much more popular route like New York - London there are several airlines offering several daily flights. I am sure all have pretty full business and first class cabins on most flights.. however, how many 747-400s are there on this route? probably only a few (correct me if I am wrong, I really am guessing - Virgin, BA & UA?) meaning despite the importance of the route it may end up being equal to a lesser market in terms of profitablity.

So the real top money makers may in act be quite a surprise.
 
jasewgtn
Posts: 771
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2000 5:24 am

RE: Top 10 Most Profitable Routes

Tue Oct 24, 2000 9:13 am

As a guess, what about the routes between Japan and the US.

I have heard that some of the flights have more Business Class seats on them than Coach Class seats, so that has to be a good profit too?!?!?!?


Jase
 
aio86
Posts: 910
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2000 12:16 pm

JFK-LHR

Tue Oct 24, 2000 11:31 am

Hey Caribb,
about the JFK-LHR question, see my earlier post I wrote (about halfway through.) There are about 6800 people that can be flown on that route. Anyways it's written there. Also about an earlier posted question about US-Japan. I know that a lot of airlines use configurations where there are more or close to equal numbers of Buissness class pass. as coach ones. Such as on United and Singapore. There are 10-11 flights every day. The daily flights are on JAL, ANA, United, Korean, Singapore, Northwest, Malaysia (all on 747-400s), Delta (on MD-11) and there are the flights by Thai and Varig that opperate 4 days a week on 747-400 (Thai) and MD-11 (Varig). There are 2 JAL flights making that 11 flights total. Just so you know the Thai flight goes to Osaka the other days and the Varig one goes to Nagoya. Wow 5 star members. There's like 15 flights if you include codeshares (UA, AA & NH) New York has 4 flights, all 0n 744s, on Northwest, United, ANA, and JAL. JAL might have 2. 5 if you include the CO flight from Newark on 777-200.
-Aaron