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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Horse riding makes a comeback on Hua Hin beaches
From next Friday, horses are expected back on the beaches of Hua Hin, on the Gulf of Thailand. It follows the easing of more Covid-19 restrictions last week as Prachuap Khiri Khan officials allowed some businesses, including horse-riding operations, to reopen. It’s understood that hotels, department stores and shopping malls are also back in business.
Hua Hin is starting to welcome more visitors and horse-riding on the beach has always been a popular activity with families who have young children. It’s hoped the operators of horse-riding centres can now start earning a living, having been severely affected by both the Covid-19 crisis and the outbreak of the African Horse virus, which has killed at least 500 horses across Thailand.
The chief veterinarian from Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Livestock Department, Chamorn Sakdinan, says a recently launched vaccination campaign has prevented any further deaths of horses in the region. He says horse owners can resume business provided their animals are kept in stables at night and under mosquito nets, to combat the mosquito-borne illness. He adds that owners will not have permission to move horses outside of Hua Hin.
SOURCE: Thai PBS WorldKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Phuket’s lost summer – looking to 2021 for tourism recovery
In a solemn recognition of the reality of Phuket’s stalled tourist industry, a spokesperson for the southern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association is saying most of the west coast hotels are unlikely to reopen until the last quarter of this year. And that’s just the start of the problems for the popular island beach resort.
For now, Phuket’s International Airport remains closed to scheduled flights, and the Tha Chatchai road checkpoint at the top of the island is heavily curating who comes in and out with red-tape and paperwork. Nationally, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has already banned international travel into Thailand until at least the end of June – it could be extended further.
Phuket’s issue, as an economy that revolves almost completely around tourism, is that, even if it throws open the immigration gates at the airport and the doors of its almost 100,000 hotel and accommodation rooms, there are few options for incoming tourists at this stage. Where will they come from? Europe (including the UK), the US and now South America, are mired in their own pandemic outbreaks, and whilst trying to reopen their economies, are facing imminent second waves of Covid-19. It’s unlikely the risk-averse Thais will willingly welcome ‘at risk’ countries back any time soon.
It’s only a few regional customers that are likely to be given approval to fly their businesspeople and tourists into Thailand anytime soon, but even that is going to be a trickle at best, at least in the short to medium term. Even these tourist markets have seen their economies hit hard by the pandemic and will be less likely to prioritise travel at this early stage – China, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore.
Whilst other parts of Thailand have opportunities to reopen their businesses – manufacture, agriculture, IT, and large chunks of populations visit shops and general trading – Phuket has little of that. Some 50,000+ of the island’s 450,000 permanent population have already departed the island, either before the borders were closed in mid-March, or as soon as they were able to return to their provinces when the road border re-opened for repatriating people at the start of May.
Even survey respondents, testing the opportunities for the island to reopen to domestic traffic to kick-start the stalled tourist economy, have shown little interest in heading to Phuket as the rest of Thailand has, well frankly, more important things to worry about. Since Phuket’s own lockdown restrictions have been lifted, early ‘staycation’ promotions, attracting locals for a bit of post-lockdown leisure, have fallen flat. For now, Phuket’s beaches remain closed anyway.
c9hotelworks‘ Bill Barnett, says “Phuket’s hardest yards for tourism are still in front of us and the loss of jobs will be enormous. No candy coating here.”
“Hotel operators and owners, are now reassessing the need for a quick return to reopen and from our talks, many are looking at pushing back to October or even later given the economics simply do not add up.”
“Even the domestic thrust of staycations are unlikely to provide the traction larger hotels need to scale up. Domestic business for island hotels on a broad basis is sub 10% of the market mix. For smaller hotels, targeting domestic is fishing where the fish are, and makes absolute sense.”
Suksit Suvunditkul, CEO of Deevana Hotels and the vice-president of the Thai Hotels Association southern chapter, says that hotels along the beach that target international guests will reopen in September at the earliest. Speaking to Bangkok Post, he says that the situation remains unpredictable.
“….but as July and August are low season, resuming operations is not worth the effort while guest demand is still weak. With some hotels not reopening until the fourth quarter, they cannot expect to profit.”
Forecasts from the Tourism Authority of Thailand say that the rest of 2020 will be mostly limited to domestic tourism, “with the Asian market starting to recover at the beginning of next year and the European market to follow much later”.
But, for now, hotels are still shuttered as management wait in hope for signs that they are, firstly, allowed to reopen and, secondly, the barriers are removed to international travel. The other main hurdle is the paperwork or restriction that will be imposed on inbound tourists. It’s hard to imagine tourists will be wanting to pack their flowery shirts, hats and suncream to end up having to submit long lists of paperwork and health checks before they arrive.Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Thailand depending on Chinese travellers for tourist reboot
Thailand is looking to China to rebuild its battered travel industry. As the Covid-19 pandemic subsides in Asia, countries are discussing the idea of “travel bubbles,” in which reciprocal nations establish guidelines that enable their citizens to move freely across their borders. The wider tourism industry accounts for 18-20% of Thailand’s GDP and provides jobs for almost a tenth of Thais, according to the International Labour Organisation.
But with borders closed and planes grounded around the world, (Thailand has currently banned all passenger arrivals except Thai returnees and diplomats until at least June 30), this core of the Thai economy faces a very uncertain future. The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s best case scenario is that 14-16 million people will visit this year, more than the 8.5 million projected by the Thai Chamber of Commerce, but far fewer than last year’s record of 39.8 million, a figure that made it Southeast Asia’s most popular tourism destination. And yesterday a TAT spokesman made the nation’s position clear:
“China will remain Thailand’s and Asia’s biggest outbound tourist market.”
Chinese accounted for more than a quarter of tourists who visited Thailand last year, and their importance has been magnified by the Covid-19 pandemic. Long haul travel is not expected to rebound quickly, and Thailand’s tourism strategy is now focused on domestic travel and the short haul travellers who are most likely to return first – the Chinese.
With a population of 1.4 billion, the rising middle class now have the travel bug and have become the world’s most numerous tourist market in many destinations, especially around Asia.
Rebuilding this market is crucial not only to resurrecting Thailand’s economy, but also those of neighbouring nations like Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. The ability of these countries to refloat their own tourism industries depends largely on Thailand’s reopening, as the airports of Bangkok serve as a hub for the region. But it won’t be easy as Thailand faces increased competition from regional competitors like Vietnam and the Philippines, both of which were in the midst of their own tourism booms before the virus struck. It will also face competition from China itself, where the pandemic has boosted interest in domestic travel.
“We cannot leave it too late to prepare for Chinese arrivals. International competition for this market is bound to be intense.”
Complicating matters is the fact that wholesale group travel, previously the sector’s backbone, is unlikely to bounce back swiftly. A survey by industry consultancy C9 Hotelworks found that 71% of Chinese planning foreign travel in 2020 would consider travelling to Thailand, and 83% of that group said they would want to go as independent travellers. The consultancy also believes older travellers will be slower to return to the market, noting that more than 80% of those who responded to its survey were between the ages of 20 and 40.
But there was good news for Thailand. Half of those surveyed said they would spend 15,000 yuan (67,000 baht) per trip.
C9 managing director Bill Barnett says targeting those predisposed to travel is a good way to drum up business in a short period.
At this stage it is unlikely that any tourists are going anywhere soon as borders remain closed, travel bans are still in place, airlines remain grounded and financially reluctant or unable to ramp up international flights quickly. In Thailand the borders remain closed, except for Thai repatriates, until at least June 30. Even when they open it has not yet been announced the conditions on which foreigners will be able to travel to Thailand, which countries they will be accepted and the types of insurances required. The world’s discretionary income has also plummeted as the Covid-19 recession starts to bite.
But if anyone is likely to be the first wave of post-Covid tourists, it’s most probable to be from China.
SOURCE: SCMPKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Thailand News Today – Tuesday, May 26
Woman charged after abandoning cats at Wat Pho
UPDATE: ‘Bleach mum’ was the maternal mother of sick boy
3 quarantined returnees confirmed with Covid-19 in Thailand (May 26)
Critics say new security laws will infringe on Hong Kong’s autonomy
Bangkok woman dies of salmonella poisoning after eating ‘death dumplings’
Dozens of plastic containers per person in state quarantine
No role for Transport Ministry in Thai Airways rehab plan
Number of curfew arrests drops
Evidence mounts against “bleach mum”
Deputy PM says politics not involved in Emergency Decree extension
Government warns Thai residents over fake contact-tracing sites
Thailand’s economic forecast among Asia’s worst: central bank governor to step down
Thai police deny using emergency decree as political tool
Millions of baht worth of cigarettes seized after smuggled over Burmese border
Criticism over bad English lesson in Thai online class
Thai massage shops may reopen soon, from the waist down only
Most of Thailand placed on storm alert
Thais on repatriation flight from London were reported with ‘fevers’
Bars, nightlife venues may reopen early to mid-June if virus remains in check
Thailand’s property market set to experience brokerage megashift
Ex high ranking Buddhist officials convicted of embezzling millions
Police arrest 3 involved in mystery woman’s marijuana syndicate
19 kilograms of crystal meth, valued around 10 million baht, seized on Thai train
More trouble for ailing Thai Airways as Airbus calls in its debts
Phuket’s lost summer – looking to 2021 for tourism recovery
Thailand scores highest for mask-wearing in survey of ASEAN nations
Pattaya massage shops petition government to be allowed to reopen
Man arrested for growing 1,200 cannabis plants
Thai car production hits 30 year low
Thailand News Today – Wednesday, April 22
Thailand News Today – Tuesday, April 21
Thailand News Today – Monday, April 20
Thailand News Today – Friday, April 17
Thailand News Today – Tuesday, April 16
Thailand News Today – Wednesday, April 15
Thailand News Today – Tuesday, April 14
Thailand News Today – Monday, April 13
Thailand News Today – Friday, April 10
Thailand News Today – Thursday, April 9
Thailand News Today – Wednesday, April 8
Thailand News Today – Tuesday, April 7
Thailand News Today – Friday, April 3
Thailand News Today – Thursday, April 2
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