Some Surprising Stats About Air Travel (Lost Baggage, Money and More)

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Air travel is becoming more essential and therefore more popular. More of us are taking to the skies than ever before and as a result the number of airports, airlines and routes are all increasing while the price of air travel is going in the opposite direction.

For anyone who has a passion for air travel, the following stats will surely pique your interest.

Mega Air Miles

If you had to guess at the world’s most popular air route, New York, London or Beijing would be listed. But that wouldn’t come close. The most travelled route is actually from Seoul Gimpo International to Jeju International, both of which are in South Korea.

The route clocks up the most flights every year and is more in-demand than any other. It is only a 280-mile island hop, but the island of Jeju is one of the most popular destinations in the country and it’s clearly a welcome break for city dwellers in the South Korean capital.

The busiest airport is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, with more than 100 million travelers a year. This is far from the most well known airport in the world and wouldn’t even be in the average person’s top 20, but it has topped this list for close to two decades and is showing no signs of slowing down.

The Biggest Airlines

Calculate the biggest airlines based on the countries they serve, and the usual suspects of American Airlines and British Airways are not even in the top three. Turkish Airlines serve more countries than anyone else, and by quite some way. This is followed by Air France, Qatar Airways and then British Airways.

The Good and Bad

Losing luggage or having it damaged is a common fear for travelers, but in truth, the odds of having this happen to you are less than 1 percent. Use distinctive luggage and luggage that is durable; (see Luggage on Tour) and follow protocols, and those odds are even less.

The airline and airport also play a role and the same goes for late flights and cancellation. Panama City airport recorded the fewest cancellations of any airport while KLM were the airline that were on-time the most, getting 88.5 flights out of 100 to their destination on time.

As accidents go, Qantas lead the way at the low end, and have often been called the safest airline in the world. As far the least safe goes, they are all in Nepal, Indonesia and Surinam, and many of them are banned from the airspace of developed nations. Batik Air, Wings Air, Citilink and Lion Air are some of the ones to have been given the worst safety rating possible.

The Oldest Plane in Active Use

A lot of work goes into making and maintaining a modern passenger plane, but they are still only good for a few years as they cover vast distances in that time and are often replaced when there is something better on the market. However, there is one plane in the Airfast Indonesia fleet that was built in 1970.

This plane is a Boeing 737-200 and it began life with Air California. Its life in Orange County didn’t last long though and after the airline folded it was purchased by Aloha Airlines, then by PSA in Ohio and Braniff in Dallas, before becoming part of American Airlines. In 1991 it was purchased by the Jakarta-based airline Airfast Indonesia, which is where it remains to this day.