ASIA PACIFIC. Passenger traffic between Incheon International and Da Nang in central Vietnam was the fastest-growing in Asia Pacific in 2018, according to Routesonline, using figures from the OAG Schedules Analyser (OAG). Passenger volumes surged by 71%, to 2.2 million, according to a new report.

Capacity on the Incheon International-Da Nang route soared by 73% in 2018, reaching 2.8 million available seats.

The increase was enough to place the route comfortably ahead of the route between Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Iloilo International Airport, which is in second position in the growth rankings.

The results of the study were released as delegates gather for route development forum Routes Asia 2019, which is being staged in Cebu, Philippines. It lists the top 100 passenger routes to and from and within the Asia Pacific region during 2018. The rankings are according to percentage annual growth when compared with the same period in 2017.

(In related news, Lotte Duty Free, which runs duty free at Da Nang Airport, is partnering with Airports Corporation of Vietnam to exhibit at Routes Asia 2019.)

The top ten fastest-growing inter-Asia Pacific routes. Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

According to OAG, two-way capacity on the Incheon International and Da Nang International route jumped by 73% in 2018 to 2.8 million available seats. A total of ten carriers served the market, up from nine in 2017.

Jin Air had a 20% capacity share of the total number of seats on that route last year, with Korean Air on 15.1% and Jeju Airlines on 13.2%. In total there were almost 12,100 flight departures, compared with fewer than 7,500 in 2017.

On the second-placed route of Ninoy Aquino International-Iloilo International, which connects the capital of the Philippines with Iloilo City on Panay Island, passenger traffic increased by nearly 48% in 2018 to more than 2.1 million.

Overall two-way capacity rose by 49% in 2018 compared with the previous year, OAG figures show, increasing to 2.53 million seats. On that route, Cebu Pacific commanded a 50.5% capacity share, followed by Philippine Airlines with 31.3% and Philippines AirAsia with 18.2%.

Korean Air was responsible for 15.1% of seat capacity on the Incheon International-Da Nang International route.

Like the second-ranked route, joint third in the list were two domestic flights. The first links Indonesia’s capital Jakarta with the port city of Palembang (Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International-Soekarno-Hatta International), while the second connects Hyderabad in south India with Bengaluru (Rajiv Gandhi International-Kempegowda International). Both routes increased passenger numbers by 20% in 2018.

Brand Director of Routesonline Steven Small said: “Across Asia there is a huge amount to be optimistic about. Capacity increases are planned across many markets, while increasing liberalisation will enable the growth of airlines.”