The world of aviation now has its first billion dollar route. That’s a flight route that makes more money for an airline than any other. And for the first time that route has breached the one billion dollar ceiling – British Airways’ service between London Heathrow and New York’s JFK.
OAG has come up with a list of the routes and airlines that generate the highest revenue around the world.
The Heathrow to JFK route pockets British Airways more than $1.15 billion in the 12 months up to April 2019. With 600+ flights per month, that equates to an hourly revenue of $27,159, a 10% increase on last year’s revenue. British Airways operates the venerable Boeing 747 and Boeing 777-200s on its Heathrow to JFK services.
So where is the second most profitable flight route in the world? QANTAS Airways’ domestic service between the southern cities of Melbourne and Sydney generates more than $861 million a year for Australia’s national airline.
Number 3 and 4 were also flights out of London’s Heathrow – Emirates’ service to Dubai and Singapore Airlines’ route to Singapore Changi. The Heathrow flights to Doha with Qatar Airways was number 7 and Cathay Pacific’s flights to Hong Kong were Number 8.
North American domestic routes also figured in the top 10. United Airlines’ San Francisco to Newark route delivered annual revenue of $689 million dollars and Air Canada’s Vancouver to Toronto route was Number 9 with annual revenue of $541 million dollars.
Highest-revenue flight routes: 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)
SOURCE: CNN Travel
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Build it and they will come – the Phu Quoc cable car experience
“It’s the best value tourist attraction you’ll find almost anywhere in the world!”
The cable-car ride from Vietnam’s Phu Quoc island to Hon Thom, aka. Pineapple Island, is a breathtaking experience. It’s an astonishing tourist attraction on an island that has ambitions to be one of south east Asia’s most popular tourist attractions.
The actual cable car ride, the longest in the world, soars over the sea, coral reefs, fishing villages and Phi Quoc’s southern islands, with amazing views all along the way. You get 360 degree vistas of the An Thoi Archipelago.
As a quick mood killer, if you’re afraid of heights, this experience may not be for you. Flying above the views below is breathtaking but you are flying a long way above the ground. Despite the windy day I travelled, the ride was very stable and you didn’t get a sense that you were wobbling around in the air.
The cable car travels from a purpose-built faux-Italian ‘ruins’ hub to Hon Thom Nature Park. From the moment you arrive, and the staff greet you as you get out of your taxi/bus/motorbike, there’s plenty of wow factor. For a small, relatively unknown Gulf of Thailand island, this is a grand experience and an enormous investment as Phu Quoc’s newest and most substantial tourist attraction.
Once you arrive at Pineapple Island, after hopping over three other islands on the way, you are greeted by a man-made beach, water park and substantial infrastructure – much of it still being constructed. Everything on the island has been constructed to serve the arrivals from the cable car, there’s no other way of getting to this remote island.
Open-air shuttles take you around the various attraction on the island, or you can just wander. There are restaurants and shops and cafés, but they’re all owned by the Sun Resorts company that has made the substantial investment. The entire project won’t be finished until 2021 but there’s already plenty to see – the cable car ride itself is spectacular enough.
The cable-car ride from Phu Quoc island to Pineapple Island takes about 25 minutes each way. The cable cars are quite substantial and can hold 20 or so people and there’s views everywhere you look.
As of 2019, the price for the Phu Quoc cable car is 150,000 Vietnamese dong, about 200 baht (cheaper than a cinema ticket these days), or US$6.40 (September 2019). Prices for children are currently set at 100,000 dong. The prices have been lowered since the attraction opened and perhaps will rise again once the construction is all complete around Pineapple Island. But even at double the price, it’s still excellent value.
It’s the best value tourist attraction you’ll find almost anywhere in the world!
You can find more information at the attraction’s website… Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park.
Getting to the An Thoi cable car terminal for now, you’ll need to take a taxi or hire a motorbike from the tourist areas in the middle of the island. A taxi ride from the tourist hub to An Thoi was about 350,000 dong. There’s apparently a shuttle bus to the south of the island but we didn’t see it during our visit.
About Phu Quoc, it clearly has ambitions to be the next ‘go to’ destination in south east Asia with an incredible amount of investment being poured into the island – I counted about 80 new hotels being constructed along the main beach which covers about 15 kilometres of coastline. About the same size as Phuket, but 30 years behind the Thai island, development-wise, it is a curious combination of old Vietnamese fishing villages, tropical rainforests, beaches and potential.
The island is situated off the southern Cambodian coast but is controlled by Vietnam. Phu Quoc’s sovereignty has been contested in the past, as recently as fall-out from the Vietnam War and the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia. Currently, most nationalities get a free 30 day visa-on-arrival.
The new airport is world-class and you will have no problem getting around the island with Grab, local taxis and easy motorbike rentals (they didn’t even want to see my passport). Vietnam drivers drive on the right, so be ready for that if you’ve arrived from Thailand.
PS. From the windows of the mock-romanesque main building where you alight the cable-car for your journey, you can see this Portofina, Italy look-alike being constructed, complete with Mediterannean harbour.Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Voice TV report paints grim picture of Thailand’s tourism problems
Natthapong La-orwong of the Sofitel group claims that Thai tourism is suffering, and the lack of European visitors is part of the problem. The comments were made in a Voice TV report that paints a grim picture of the Thai tourism outlook in 2019, according to ThaiVisa.
Voice TV is unpopular withThai authorities with its forthright assessments and has been taken off air a number of times over the past five years under the military government. The station is owned by Pathongthae Shinawatra the son of fugitive ex prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Natthapong says that the lack of expected numbers from China and Korea was one thing, but the disappearance of Europeans from the Thai tourism sector was obvious. He cites Brexit and the strong value of the Thai baht as major contributing factors.
He also said that less tourists from Hong Kong were visiting due to the protests there and the lack of business people coming to Thailand was hitting trade.
Meanwhile, an unnamed hotelier in Phuket painted a picture of even greater doom and gloom. The hotelier said that following the Phoenix boat disaster tourism on the island was down 25-30% but even compared to 2017 levels it was down 20%, according to the ThaiVisa article.
The Voice TV segment pointed to the poor world economy and the strength of the baht that have hit the tourism industry.
“The industry had “lost momentum” after posting rises in numbers from 35.6 million visitors in 2017, 38.3 last year and only 19.8 in the first half of this year.”
“With the high season for tourism just around the corner the credit rating agency TRIS, the Thai Rating and Information Services, had deemed that the tourism sector was in trouble.”Facebook page.
New branding for the old town – tweaking Phuket’s Old Town
PHOTO: Many renovated buildings and putting the crappy overhead cabling underground is bringing the old town alive
Though Phuket remains among the world’s most popular tourist destinations, injecting some 477 billion baht to the Thai economy, with its “Pearl of the Andaman Sea” branding, its future status is being questioned due to competition from Indonesia and Vietnam.
In response, Phuket is making a move to focus on the city’s “Old Town” to attract more tourists, along with an “Endless Discovery” branding campaign to highlight the variety of local tourist options.
Don Limnantapisit, the president of the Phuket Old Town community, says most tourists have visited just about everywhere in Phuket but often bypass the Old Town.
Though the Old Town area has for 15 years encouraged tourist visits so that it wouldn’t disappear from Phuket’s map, only in the past two years has it seen much success in attracting tourists – thanks to the power of social media.
As well, CNN recently included Old Town on its list of Asia’s 13 most picturesque towns (it’s also in The Thaiger’s list of Asia’s Top 10 Prettiest towns).
Thailand’s Fine Arts Department and Phuket are working on a plan to register Old Town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The new “Phuket Endless Discovery” branding aims to tease the curiosity of travellers, said the president of the Phuket Tourism Association, Bhummikitti Ruktaengam
Statistics show a significant growth in travellers for meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) in Phuket. The figure for 2018 showed an increase to 2,216,230, up 168% from 2017, bringing in 19.5 billion baht.
SOURCE: The Nation – Pornpilin Julapan
PHOTO: phuketoldtownhostel.comKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
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