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How did Amadeus unlock the truth about the world's busiest air route?

Cyril Tetaz

Executive Vice President, Airlines, Asia Pacific, Amadeus

Ask a room full of airline executives to name the world's busiest air route and you will get a lot of suggestions. Chicago-New York, Madrid-Barcelona, Sydney-Melbourne are all usually mentioned in the first minute. After a time you begin to get one-ended guesses, "Dubai-somewhere?", "Somewhere-Tokyo?” Very few people, even in Asia, will mention Jeju City. Outside of Asia, very few people have even heard of Jeju City.

jeju island


Ask a room full of airline executives to name the world's busiest air route and you will get a lot of suggestions.

Chicago-New York, Madrid-Barcelona, Sydney-Melbourne are all usually mentioned in the first minute.

After a time you begin to get one-ended guesses, "Dubai-somewhere?", "Somewhere-Tokyo?” Very few people, even in Asia, will mention Jeju City. Outside of Asia, very few people have even heard of Jeju City.

And yet, in 2011, 9.9 million people flew between Seoul and the small holiday island of Jeju, making it the busiest air route in the world. The second largest was Rio-Sao Paulo with just less than 8 million passengers. (See the rest of the top 10 on our Global Airline Traffic Trends infographic .)

To calculate the total number of passengers flying between two airports, airlines are faced with a problem: any bookings made on airline websites or in local CRSs are not easily tracked.

Amadeus's approach to this problem is called Amadeus Total Demand, which is based on data mined from a large number of sources, including data reported by governments, airports, by airlines themselves and data from the main GDSs.

While Total Demand uses passenger flown data to show the total size of the market, Amadeus Information (MIDT) is used by airlines to drill down into the structure of demand in a given market.

MIDT helps answer questions such as, which countries are producing the most bookings? Which travel agencies should I partner with to help me launch a new route? Who will be best able to offer my premium services? Also, since it is based on bookings, rather than passengers flown, MIDT gives a glimpse into the future.

One Amadeus customer used MIDT to turn an unprofitable route into a profitable one by identifying those travel agencies which booked a higher proportion of premium seats.

The airline was then able to target promotion activities directly at the travel agencies which could give them access to the highest yield customers, and increase the proportion of premium-class seats they sold on that route.

Learn more about Amadeus Total Demand here.


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