How Busy Are Southeast Asia Skies?

We recently looked at the most significant routes throughout Southeast Asia for 2019. How has the pandemic affected the skies over the region?

We have used data published by OAG in their most recent overview.

November Figures

Globally the number of available airline seats in November was more than 239 million, more than 47% lower than in November last year and, significantly, almost 10% less than last month.

The extended lockdown in much of Western Europe is the primary reason for the reduction in capacity from October.

The situation in Southeast Asia is even worse however. With 19.2 million available seats, capacity is over 56% lower than the same time last year and 3.8% less than in October.

International Routes

In the OAG annual report there were 6 routes in the region that appeared in the World’s Busiest Routes.

RankingRouteScheduled Seats
2Kuala Lumpur – Singapore5,560,894
3Jakarta – Singapore5,480,000
4Bangkok – Hong Kong4,826,872
7Hong Kong – Manila3,852,991
9Bangkok – Singapore3,832,494
10Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur3,798,559
Busiest South East Asia Routes 2019

The only international route listed in the top 10 for November 2020 is Bangkok – Hong Kong, sitting in 7th place with 94,375 scheduled seats.

RankingRouteScheduled Seats
2Bangkok – Hong Kong94,375
6Hong Kong – Manila65,850
8Bangkok – Seoul Incheon59,240
Asia Busiest Routes November 2020

The impact on international travel in the region can be demonstrated by the China – Thailand route which has 99% less capacity than last year and 86% down on last month. The Indonesia – Malaysia route is 94% down on last year.

Domestic Routes

Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City is the only domestic route in the region to feature in the global top 10 of busiest routes with a capacity of 892,805 for November, the second highest in the world.


There are 4 Southeast Asia airports listed in the current World’s Top 20 Airports. All show a significant decrease in capacity compared to November 2019 with Singapore Changi an incredible 90.8% down.

AirportNov 2020 CapacityNov 2019Oct 2020
Singapore Changi324,535-90.8%3.3%
Kuala Lumpur472,070-85%-44%

Credit Shawn Ang on Unsplash

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Published by flyingdogtravel

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