Seven out of ten of the world's busiest inter-city routes are within Asia as the region leads global travel growth

Passenger demand analysis by Amadeus reveals Indonesia, the Philippines and Chile join BRIC countries as fastest growing travel markets.

New Delhi, India, 11 May 2012: Asia leads the world's growth in travel and holds seven out of the ten busiest inter-city routes. In addition to the BRIC markets, Indonesia, the Philippines and Chile showed an impressive growth, according to analysis by the market intelligence solution Amadeus Total Demand. The review looks at trends in worldwide passenger demand* between regions, countries and specific airports, comparing the full 2011 passenger volumes with 2010 data**. All figures relate to passengers travelling between a given origin and final destination airport, irrespective of the number of connecting stops.

The most important inter-regional growth patterns of last year are led by Asia. Traffic between Asia and Europe, and between Asia and North America, grew by 9%.  Traffic between Asia and the Middle East grew 6% reaching 38 million travellers in the year. Compared with the previous year, 2% fewer passengers travelled between Africa and Europe in 2011; this was the only region pair with a significant traffic flow decrease over the period.

Traffic between North America and Europe remains the busiest inter-regional flow with over 60 million passengers in 2011, followed by Asia and Europe with over 53 million, and Latin America and North America with 47 million passengers.

David Brett, President of Amadeus Asia Pacific said that the global findings are a striking reaffirmation of the rapid growth in the travel industry which we are currently seeing across Asia Pacific.

"To hold seven of the world's top ten inter-city routes all within the domestic borders of Asian countries is testament to the significant role APAC plays within the global travel market today. Amadeus is committed to delivering world-class solutions that help our customers get the most out of this expanding market and continue to grow their business."

Commenting on the analysis, Ankur Bhatia, Director, Amadeus India said, "The surge in passenger traffic in Asia clearly states a tremendous growth the Asian economy has witnessed in recent times. Amadeus Total Demand offers comprehensive insights of the growing travel market in the region, to its partners through this analysis, which will further assist them to widen their business horizon in the rising markets and increase their business base."

In terms of connecting traffic, over 50% of all passengers in the triangle between Asia, Europe and North America change aircraft at least once. On the other hand, only 7% of all passengers travelling within Asia travel with a connecting flight, compared to 10% in Europe and 31% in North America. The largest airports in Asia have a lower percentage of connecting traffic than the North American and European hubs. The average connecting rate of the ten busiest airports in Asia is 19% compared with 32% for the top ten hubs in Europe and 45% in North America.

The 2011 country statistics*** reveal, unsurprisingly, that the strongest growth in absolute passengers is led by the BRIC countries. China registered an additional 19 million in 2011 than 2010, Brazil, 12 million, India 8 million and Russia 6 million. Indonesia was the 5th strongest growth market with an additional 5 million passengers in 2011.

Brazil (17%), India (13%) and Russia (15%) also featured in the top ten fastest-growing countries by % growth. Chile (21%), the Philippines (15%) and Indonesia (11%) are also among the fastest growing travel markets. Egypt and Japan are among the fastest shrinking markets, probably due to the Arab Spring and the Tsunami.

Countries showing highest % growth in passengers between 2010 and 2011 (excluding markets with fewer than 5 million annual passengers)


Pax 2011 (000s)

Growth vs 2010










Russian Federation



Saudi Arabia















It is interesting to note that the strongest traffic in between cities takes place within the same country. From the world's top ten inter-city routes, seven are within the domestic borders of Asian countries, out of which three are in Japan.  In terms of volume, the route between Jeju and Seoul is the most important (almost 10 million passengers) followed by Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo (circa 8 million passengers).

Top world inter-city routes


Inter-city route



Jeju - Seoul


South America

Rio de Janeiro –Sao Paulo



Osaka - Tokyo



Sapporo -Tokyo


South West Pacific

Melbourne -Sydney



Fukuoka -Tokyo



Beijing - Shanghai



Hong Kong -Taipei



Cape Town –Johannesburg



Mumbai - Delhi


Amadeus Total Demand is able to provide detailed demand data for any origin and destination pair in the world. Data is mined from a large number of sources including commercial and government airline and airport traffic statistics as well as major GDSs. The data is then processed by a cutting edge computing algorithm and robustly tested to ensure the highest accuracy of results. 

*Passenger demand is measured in terms of Origin and Destination (O&D) traffic e.g. passengers travelling between a given origin and final destination airport, irrespective of the number of connecting stops.

**All percentages make reference to the difference between 2011 full year passenger volumes and 2010. ***Only countries with more than 5 million inbound and outbound passengers have been taken into account.

Notes to editors

About Amadeus
Amadeus is a leading transaction processor and provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel and tourism industry.

Customer groups include travel providers (e.g. airlines, hotels, rail, ferries, etc.), travel sellers (travel agencies and websites), and travel buyers (corporations and individual travellers).

The group operates a transaction-based business model and processed more than 948 million billable travel transactions in 2011.

Amadeus has central sites in Madrid (corporate headquarters), Nice (development) and Erding (operations – data processing centre) and regional offices in Miami, Buenos Aires, Bangkok and Dubai. At a market level, Amadeus maintains customer operations through 73 local Amadeus Commercial Organisations covering 195 countries.

Amadeus is listed on the Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia stock exchanges and trades under the symbol "AMS.MC". For the year ended December 31 2011, the company reported revenues of €2,707 million and EBITDA of €1,039 million. The Amadeus group employs around 10,000 people worldwide, with 123 nationalities represented at the central offices.

Amadeus India Private Limited was established in 1994 and is ISO 9001:2008 certified. Amadeus India's head office is located in New Delhi, with a wide network of 40 branch offices providing support to travel agents across the Indian sub-continent. Amadeus India offers agents access to more than 95% of scheduled airline seats as well as hotel rooms, insurance packages, car hire and other travel services worldwide. Amadeus' distribution system is preferred by travel agents in 217 cities across India as well as in Bangladesh, Nepal and Colombo with over 42,000 terminal installations in more than 13,000 travel agencies.

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