The first and only billion-dollar airline route

With tens of thousands of airline routes across the globe, one stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of total revenue.  Unsurprisingly, on the top of the list is British Airways' JFK-LHR route, which became the first and only airline route to break the billion-dollar barrier from the period April 2018 to March 2019.  Raking in a total $1.15 billion, BA flew an average of 600 flights per month on the JFK-LHR route, which amounts to an hourly revenue of $27,159.


Far from being the busiest route on the planet, which goes to the Jeju to Seoul Gimpo route in South Korea followed by the Tokyo Haneda to Sapporo route in Japan, the JFK-LHR route actually barely cracks the top 50 in terms of total passenger carried.  But with 30% of the seats sold as business and first, the business travel revenue of this route cannot be understated.  Both airports are huge hubs, essentially connecting the the East Coast to Europe.

BA's new Club Suite (aka biz)

BA has taken recent strides in tailoring their flights to premium business flyers, including replacing their outdated biz seats to the more spacious and comfortable reverse herringbone configuration.  Their ground services at both airports also include spas and a la carte dining for first class and One World Emerald passengers.

BA LHR Elemis spa


BA LHR first class lounge a la carte dining area

The top ten highest-revenue routes by airline: April 2018 -- March 2019

1. British Airways: New York JFK -- London Heathrow (Total revenue: $1,159,126,794 / revenue per hour: $27,159)

2. Qantas Airways: Melbourne -- Sydney (Total revenue: $861,260,322 / revenue per hour: $23,773)

3. Emirates: London Heathrow -- Dubai International (Total revenue: $796,201,645 / revenue per hour: $24,926)

4. Singapore Airlines: London Heathrow -- Singapore Changi (Total revenue: $735,597,614 / revenue per hour: $18,771)

5. United Airlines: San Francisco International -- Newark (Total revenue: $689,371,368 / revenue per hour: $12,882)

6. American Airlines: Los Angeles LAX -- New York JFK (Total revenue: $661,739,788 / Revenue per hour: $13,099)

7. Qatar Airways: London Heathrow -- Hamad International (Total revenue: $639,122,609 / revenue per hour: $20,415)

8. Cathay Pacific Airways: Hong Kong International -- London Heathrow (Total revenue: $604,595,063 / revenue per hour: $13,887)

9. Singapore Airlines: Sydney -- Singapore Changi (Total revenue: $549,711,946 / revenue per hour: $20,821)

10. Air Canada: Vancouver YVR -- Toronto Pearson International (Total revenue: $541,122,509 / revenue per hour: $11,936)


In the U.S., United's SFO-EWR came in at the top, followed closely by AA's LAX-JFK route.  These hub-to-hub routes are also no surprise as they feature both carriers' flagship international lieflat product in biz and first.

United's premium transcontinental biz product on their SFO-EWR route

LHR appears on half of the top ten, reinforcing its importance as Europe's gateway and primary transfer hub.  Have you flown on any of the top 10?


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