Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 8 August 2020

Emirates' London Heathrow to Dubai flight is the world's third most lucrative airline route

One London to New York route broke the $1 billion mark
An Emirates Airbus A380 at Dubai International Airport. The carrier nearly quadrupled its half year profits. EPA

It's a flight many of us have taken several times at some point in our lives, if not this year alone, and now London Heathrow to Dubai International Airport has been officially recognised as one of the world's most lucrative airline routes.

Raking in almost $800 million in revenue for the 12 months to March 2019, Emirates' seven-hour flight between London Heathrow and Dubai International Airport is only superseded by routes by British Airways and Qantas Airways in the list of the top 10 highest revenue routes, complied by UK-based air travel intelligence company OAG.

A plane comes in to land at Heathrow Airport in London. AP

British Airways was the only airline to break the $1 billion mark, with its London Heathrow to New York's John F Kennedy International Airport route making $1.15b in the last year. Qantas's Melbourne Airport to Sydney Airport came in second with revenue of $861m, while Emirates came in a close third with $796m. That equated to 31, 943 scheduled flying hours between Heathrow and Dubai.

The top ten airlines were unchanged between 2017 and 2018, OAG said. However, total revenue across the board dipped slightly year-on-year.

"[This] highlights both how valuable and incontestable some of these are in terms of size and scale," OAG said.

Emirates was the only airline from the Middle East to feature in the top five, and was followed by Singapore Airlines' London Heathrow to Singapore's Changi Airport route, and United Airlines' San Francisco International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport.

In a list of top European routes, Emirates came second with its Heathrow to Dubai International flight, while Etihad also made the list, coming in at number 10 with its own Heathrow flight to Abu Dhabi.

Emirates also dominates the African market, coming out on top with its Johannesburg to Dubai flight, and then three other times in the top ten, with flights from Cairo, Capetown and Mauritius.

"For every airline there are a small selection of lucrative routes where either competitive advantage, market circumstances or limited competition make for very attractive revenues," OAG said.

Finally, some reasoning behind why we can never seem to find any room in the overhead lockers when we're coming back from London, or that we barely ever have a spare seat next to us to stretch out on.

Updated: August 17, 2019 01:57 PM

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