Busiest Routes

OAG Reveals the Busiest Routes Across Latin America’s Flourishing Travel Market

São Paulo (CGH) to Rio de Janeiro (SDU) is the busiest route in Latin America and fourth busiest domestic route in the world


Key Findings:

  • The busiest international route in Latin America is Lima (LIM) to Santiago (SCL).
  • Three Latin American routes are among the top 20 busiest domestic routes in the world, including São Paulo (CGH) to Rio de Janeiro (SDU), Cusco (CUZ) to Lima (LIM) and Bogotá (BOG) to Medellin (MDE).
  • Buenos Aires (EZE) is the most popular origin for international travel in Latin America, serving São Paulo (GRU), Santiago (SCL), and Rio de Janeiro (GIG), the sixth, seventh and eighth busiest international routes for the region, respectively.
  • Panama City (PTY) and Santiago (SCL) are the most popular destinations for international travelers within Latin America.
  • Bogotá (BOG) is the busiest origin airport domestically, servicing three of Latin America’s top routes to Medellin (MDE), Cali (CLO), and Cartagena (CTG).

OAG, the world’s leading provider of travel data and insight, today revealed the Busiest Routes in the world. OAG’s analysis, which is based on operating flight volume, includes insight into on-time performance (OTP) and carrier frequency at the route level, both domestically and internationally.

Three short-haul flights between Latin American airports are among the 20 busiest domestic routes in the world. Ranked fourth, the trip from São Paulo (CGH) to Rio de Janeiro (SDU) operates 39,747 flights annually. Service from Cuzco (CUZ) to Lima (LIM) ranked 13th among the world’s busiest domestic routes with 32,095 flights followed by Bogotá (BOG) to Medellin (MDE), which ranked 15th with 31,279 flights.

“Demand for air services in Latin America continues to grow, with passenger traffic up 3.7 percent over last year,” said John Grant, senior analyst with OAG. “This market growth is creating more carrier competition and consumer choice for the region’s most popular routes, including Buenos Aires (EZE) to São Paulo (GRU) and Cuzco (CUZ) to (LIM) Lima.”

The busiest international route originating in Latin America is Lima (LIM) to Santiago (SCL), with 10,369 annual operating flights. Flights departing from San Juan (SJU) to Orlando (MCO) ranked second with 9,446 flights, followed by service from São Paulo (GRU) to Santiago (SCL) in third (8,812 flights). Most of Latin America’s busiest international routes achieved an 80 percent-or-above OTP—a notable accomplishment considering the region’s increasing congestion and passenger growth. Specifically, the region’s busiest long-haul routes, São Paulo (GRU) to Panama City (PTY) and Panama City (PTY) to Santiago (SCL), recorded OTPs of 89.4 and 85.8 percent, respectively.

Globally, most of the world’s busiest routes are in the Asia-Pacific region. With over 79,000 flights annually, service from South Korea Jeju (CJU) to Seoul (GMP) is the busiest route on the planet.

For qualification criteria and more insights on the world’s busiest international and domestic routes, access the Busiest Routes analysis here.

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